Fellow nurses and doctors are the prime culprits in nurse bullying and often may not even be aware that their behaviour is having a discouraging impact on colleagues.
The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) held a discussion on the issue via Facebook with input from nurses saying that forms of intimidation included everything form offhand remarks to outright intimidation.
Linda Groah, R.N., executive director and CEO of AORN, said that bullying was enough to make both new and veteran nursing staff question why they had chosen their profession.
Impatience with new nurses learning procedures and exclusion were other examples of common bullying behaviour.
"Nurses are such a caring, compassionate and kind group of people, who treat our patients amazingly well, but then sometimes with each other we don't do so well," said Lisa Spruce, R.N., the AORN’s director of evidence-practice.
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In order to tackle bullying against nurses, AORN is running a series of leadership seminars called “Bringing Shadow Behavior into the Light of Day,” which are being held this autumn.
“It’s important that nurses, physicians and industry leaders all understand what bullying is and how common it is, so that they can support victims and train bullies on better behaviour,” said Gayle Davis, AORN’s director of corporate communications.
AORN has noted that manager reaction to bullying was concerning. The organisation quoted survey data that found only 30 percent of managers actually took any action over reported bullying.
Patients are also at risk as nurses, already under a lot of stress in their routine tasks, can feel their choices and actions undermined by bullying behaviour. "There is potential for patient harm in those situations…if you feel like a fool for bringing something up, the next time around you're not going to be so likely to speak up," Groah said.
Image Credit: nursetogether