What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Nursing Assistant

by Stacey
(Marietta, Ga. USA)

I work in a maternity ward, taking care of mothers and newborns. The staff consists of Registered nurses and some licenced practical nurses and nursing assistants. I work in the role of a nursing assistant, but I have an associates degree as a Registered nurse. I am back in school to do a bachelors in health science, not to work in nursing.

I have consistently experienced overt sarcasm and have been talked at. I have even been insulted publicly while at the nurse's station and in the break-room. I often prefer to keep to myself, because it has been consistent for more than 5 years, with this very same group of co-workers. I have worked with the company since 1996 until now.

There are times when I am telling the nurses about a patient's condition and they walk-away and often ignore me. I had a nurse who asked me to walk a patient to the restroom, and after I took the patient to the restroom, I went to the nurse to report the patient's condition (how well the patient tolerated the walk) and I was pretty much ignored.

Another nurse asked me to go to a room to weigh a baby and after I entered the room she heard the baby crying and said "is she coming in to bother you"? I believe her comment may cause the patients to feel as if my job is invaluable, but I just ignored her. I also had another nurse who jokingly refered to me as Willy Wonka, but I just ignored her. I am a physically attractive lighter-skinned woman, and I am 40 years old, but I am often told that I look like a 16 y.o. or a 20 y.o.

I can honestly say that I love my job, but the maternal-newborn unit often attracts nurses and nursing assistants who don't want to work very hard, which gives them a lot of time on their hands to gossip and back-stab even their so-called friends. Our nurse manager has talked to the entire nursing staff about refraining from hostility and to treat each other with respect (not because of any complaints of mine) but by the complaints of other staff members, who felt empowered enough to complain. Unfortunately, their complaints have not changed a whole lot, because I often hear them complaining about their experiences but the management doesn't get involved enough to rectify the problems!

These consistent problems have affected the morale of the unit, and has affected the care we give to the patients, because even when a nurse needs my help I don't go out of my way to help them, because I am busy with other patients and I know that when I speak to them about their patients' conditions that I will be ignored. As a result, I just prefer not to get involved.

We have also been working shorthanded consistently for at least 2-3 years. When we go to work, we are severely short-staffed and there are some days when they call us to stay home, so it's either feast or famine! Not many of the nurses are happy being there, however, the bullying that I've experienced is coming from the same persons consistently.

Comments for Nursing Assistant

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Bullying in the health sector
by: Linda Guirey

Hi Stacey
I understand your frustration and concern. A recent research study was undertaken in New Zealand by 3 large Universities - around workplace bullying. It was revealed that we have one of the highest rates of workplace bullying in the world and that the health and education sectors were the worst, probably related to ineffective leadership.

There are quite a few hospitals here where bullying has been identified in written newspaper articles. Until a workplace takes this seriously, writes a policy on workplace bullying, has some training to understand what it is and what it isn't, trains managers on how to respond - then until that happens, it will continue and any reporting of bullying is often handled badly.

It's a shame but most targets of bullying leave their jobs, because there are no consequences for the bully. I can see that you are passionate about what you do - if you can work out how you can distance yourself from the toxic behaviour, continue to love the work that you do without it affecting your health - then you stand your ground. Maybe find the right person in your workplace to talk to about creating zero tolerance and policies etc.

You have to do, always, what is right for you.

The 'Marbles Expert'

Harrased by LPN's
by: Candy

I was a Home Health Aide for a few years decided to become a CNA so I could Work in nursing homes.

When began working in nursing homes I found myself being harrased by LPN,s RN's and CNA's close with these nurses in supervising position.

I think it was because I inspired to be a nurse but I was not one It felt like LPN's and RN's look down on CNA's as if they were a sorority

I decided to change my career.

CNA being bullied
by: Anonymous

For the last year and half I have put up with bullying by nurses, talking to our director does no good because she is friends with all her girls (nurses). I don't know where else to turn.

I go through bullying by nurses and tech everyday.
by: Anonymous

I work as a tech on a med/surg unit in a hospital. I keep to myself because the nurses and techs talk bad about me all the time. They make faces behind my back when I'm talking to other people. The techs are rude and one tech pretends to be my friend but she just goes back and make up things I didn't say to have everybody dislike me more. One new tech had to quit because they bullied her so bad. She was new to the floor and they wouldn't show her how things were on the floor. I tried to train her but the other techs said I didn't know enough to train her. I can't wait to get out that negative environment. The nurses on my floor need to learn to be more professional and stop being childish.

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