What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Health Care Bullies

by Enimreh Graves
(New York, NY USA)

Bullying is a hallmark of the health care industry. I am a victim of bullying. I could not dream that nurses and main line health care staff could revert to all kinds of dirty tricks to discredit and hamper other nurses from obtaining employment.

Last year I briefly worked in an ICU, after obtaining an orientation. I notice that class room orientation differed from the real aspect of patient care. I could not do anything right according to my colleagues, everything I did they tried to browbeat me, a times they would even try to mislead me in order for me to be reprimanded. I decided that I needed the experience under my belt, and so I ignored them for almost a year.

I read a lot on procedures, and the art of working in an ICU in order for me to survive for a year. When my colleagues saw that it was not easy to trap me, they began to complain that I am selfish, that I do not help anyone, and went on to describe me as a schizophrenic. My colleagues would also spread malicious gossip about me, they went so far as to include aspects of my personal life, which I did not discuss with anyone. One morning I went to work and my supervisor approached me and told me that I would be the disaster nurse for the day, she told me to listen to the intercom for the code announcement, and report to the auditorium for briefing.

Half an hour later she called and said it was time for me to go for briefing, I told her I did not hear the code announced. She began to contradict me, telling me that my colleagues from the other two ICU were waiting on me. I half heartedly went down to the auditorium, only to discover that it was a lecture for new interns taking place, and no disaster preparedness was in progress. She took me away from two very sick patients in order to spread lies, that instead of performing my duty I was wandering.

When I went back to the unit she had a security guard waiting, that should in case I was angry with her, I would be restrained and taken to the psych. ward. I realise that this was done for me to get upset and so I ignored her.

Later that evening I told her that we are all adults, and asked her not to play games with me. Many more incidents occurred of which are too numerous to mention. The last incident involved norcotic that was used from the night before and was not accounted for, when I opened the pixis the no. 50 amp for a certain norcotic appeared when in fact I had only 48. I called the charge nurse who did nothing to resolve the issue, so I called the supervisor and explained to her what has occurred. The supervisor discovered that it was used on the night shift, but the person who counted the norcotic that morning swore that she counted 50 amp, and that I was the only person who went in after she counted.

If I had not called the supervisor I would be indicated as the person who took the norcotic.

Following that incident I gave the organization three months notice, and at the end of September I left with my dignity. I thought that I had suffered enough, but my suffering was just about to begin; everywhere I placed a job application I was blacklisted and labeled a schizophrenic. For the past six months I have not worked proper. I have a mortgage to pay as well as bills, I have to be living off my savings.

I can say thanks to my own nursing colleagues for my predicament, which is fuelled by the rumours they spread!

Comments for Health Care Bullies

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Washington, US
by: Sandra

If the reason is because they say you are mentally ill in any way, then you have legal recourse. Discrimination and harassment laws cover whether or not you are truly ill or are "considered" mentally ill. I'd check up on that, and don't wait. You only have 6 months to file a claim from the last date of occurrence.

nurses eat there young
by: Anonymous

IT IS TOO BAD YOU DIDNT FILE A STRESS CLAIM
I DID AFTER i WAS MOBBED BY A WHOLE STATE SYSTEM.

Does not make sense...
by: Anonymous

I read your story and I was left with a feeling there is more to it than you are letting on. For instance, your manager lied to you and then called security on you?? and you continue to work the rest of the shift, like nothing happened. Just does not make sense.

Bullying is prevalent throughout health care industry
by: Anonymous

There are countless stories of bullying among nursing supervisors as well as fellow staff nurses in all areas of health care. I believe this is one of the reasons the health care industry is such a mess. As a nurse I have experienced bullying, often subtle, and it has been devastating to my career. As nurses we all need to learn to deal effectively with these behaviors from nurse supervisors, educators, fellow staff members.

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