Bullying is not just something that happens with kids on the playground. Workplace bullying is common among novice nurses and nursing students. Many times this type of lateral, violent, and disruptive behavior can lead to nurse burnout. It is important for nurses entering the workforce to understand their role in stopping nurse bullying which is why Loyola University sets out to educate its nursing students about these topics in their Nursing Student Resource Center.
What is nurse bullying?
A study by Dr. Dilek Yıldırım of Gazi University concluded that out of 286 nurses surveyed 21% had experienced bullying in the workplace. It is hard to define what classifies behaviors as bullying, but American Nurse Today states that some common behaviors include “innuendo, verbal affront, undermining, withholding information, sabotage, infighting, scapegoating, backstabbing, failing to respect privacy, and breaking confidences”. All of these behaviors lead to nurses having feelings of humiliation, exclusion and fear.
This type of bullying can happen both from peer to peer and superior to subordinate. Seasoned nurses may consider this a “part of the job”, but this type of workplace bullying and harassment can contribute to lack of productivity and decreased quality of patient care along with mental health problems for those affected.
Effects of Nurse Bullying:
Bullying impacts individuals both physically and mentally. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing describes that there are many negative consequences of nurse bullying. These consequences include: feelings of isolation, fear of going to work, stress related illness, and in extreme cases even suicide.
What is Nurse Burnout?
Nurse burnout syndrome is caused by emotional and physical exhaustion due to extreme stress and pressure in the work environment. This exhaustion can lead to poor performance, and feelings of resentment toward one’s work.
A nurse’s job is stressful!
How can you help?
Hospital and healthcare policy makers can make a difference in resolving this issues through educating nurses, teaching coping skills, creation of anti-bullying policies and regular support. Zero tolerance policies for bullying can help aid in less nurses feeling burned out.
Loyola University also educates nursing students about bullying in the workplace, and ways they can help to stop it. They state that through preparation, confrontation practice and awareness of bullying policies student nurses can help end nurse bullying once and for all.
Find more Nurse-Nurse bullying resources from Confident Voices in Healthcare:
Kayla Tarantino is an internet marketing professional of 3 years who loves writing about a wide range of topics in the education niche. She specializes in the promotion of higher education institutions.