Strategies to Minimize Bullying (Nursing)

by Amber Vanderburg

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    00:00 I know you are, but what am I? You're mom. Sticks and stones.

    00:06 These are probably not the best way to deal with a bully in the workplace or anywhere else.

    00:15 So, how should we deal with bullies? How should we handle microaggressions or mega aggressions in the workplace? How can we recognize and address bullies in our workplace?'s not with a witty playground comeback.

    00:35 Bullying in healthcare is way too common.

    00:40 18-31% of nurses have been bullied by colleagues according to the American Nurses Association.

    00:49 It is so common that many refer to this as a professional write up passage.

    00:54 This can dramatically impact performance, esteem, morale, team community, and patient care.

    01:03 Reports from nursing administration quarterly show that up to 34% of nurses leave or consider leaving the profession because of bullying, 34%.

    01:17 In 2018, Journal of Nursing Management found that 60% of nurse managers, directors, and executives experience bullying in the workplace.

    01:30 26% of those leadership positions consider the bullying to be severe.

    01:36 Chances are you will unfortunately have to confront bullying at some point in your time in the healthcare profession.

    01:45 But here are a few ways that you can address bullying in your workplace.

    01:50 First, recognize bullying.

    01:53 Sometimes, when we are in the midst of being bullied, we may not recognize bullying.

    02:00 Bullying is defined by the American Nurses Association as repeated, unwanted, harmful actions intended to humiliate, offend, and cause distress in the recipient.

    02:15 Sometimes, this is seen in overt more aggressive forms of action.

    02:21 This includes an intimidating raise of voice. It could be pushing, pulling, shoving, or hitting.

    02:29 It could be name calling, belittling team members, or minimizing team member's performance, accomplishments, or challenges.

    02:39 It could be unprofessional comments about your performance to you, team members, or patients.

    02:48 Sometimes, the bullying could be less overt, but equally effective in toxicity, gossiping, ignoring, eye rolls, exclusion, and scoffs are little actions that can lead to a big impact.

    03:06 If you are experiencing these actions in your workplace, recognize that this is not a healthy culture.

    03:14 This is bullying. This is not okay.

    03:19 This toxicity can take a toll on your personal and professional life.

    03:25 So the first step is to recognize bullying. The next step is to confront the bully.

    03:33 If you are a nurse or a healthcare professional that is experiencing bullying, I want you to consider these tools.

    03:42 One tool you can use is to find an ally that can help champion your success.

    03:49 This is a person that can be a part of your team and back you up if you need support.

    03:56 Another tool that you can use is to confront the bully directly using the feedback models discussed in earlier lessons; seeking understanding, proactively creating a game plan, and clarifying desired alternative actions.

    04:13 A third tool is to use your leaders as support to help alleviate the bullying in your workplace.

    04:20 Your supervisor, your manager is there to help you. Use them as support.

    04:28 Go to your supervisor or manager first and then after they have been involved and if a resolution is not reached, you may also involve human resources to help resolve the bullying and create a more positive working environment.

    04:46 As you experience bullying, please document the bullying.

    04:51 This does not have to be complex.

    04:54 Document the date, time, persons involved, and a short description of the incident.

    05:01 If there were other witnesses, you might ask them if they feel comfortable including their account in the documentation.

    05:09 Any inappropriate texts, emails, messages should also be saved and documented.

    05:16 This may seem like a lot now, but it can be of tremendous help if the situation is not solved in the future.

    05:25 This will help the manager or HR if any disciplinary action is required in the future.

    05:32 Document when the action happens.

    05:35 You probably will not remember in exact detail the bullying actions that happened 3 months, 6 months, or a year ago.

    05:44 Document bullying when occurs.

    05:47 Bullying can happen through microaggressions or mega aggressions.

    05:51 In any case, this is what I want you to do.

    05:55 I want you to recognize when bullying actions and attitudes are happening in your unit.

    06:04 If you are being bullied, recognize that this is unacceptable behavior and use these tools to confront the inappropriate actions.

    06:15 If you witness bullying in your unit, be an ally for the person being bullied.

    06:22 Stand up and speak out against bullying to create a more positive work environment.

    06:30 If you recognize that you initiate some of these actions and might be the bully, stop, take some time to assess the reason for these actions and take proactive steps to improve.

    06:46 Treat your team members with respect and dignity.

    06:50 If you are a leader of a team that is experiencing bullying, understand that you can take the lead to change this professional stereotype.

    07:01 Bullying is not inevitable. It is a habit.

    07:05 And just like all habits, you can change your culture, you can change your habits, you can create a work environment that is uplifting, supportive, and positive.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Strategies to Minimize Bullying (Nursing) by Amber Vanderburg is from the course Communication in Healthcare (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. 18-31%
    2. 5-15%
    3. 11-21%
    4. 25-50%
    1. Repeated, unwanted harmful actions intended to cause offense or distress.
    2. One-time actions or comments intended to offend.
    3. Intentional or unintentional comments and actions, either isolated or repeated.
    4. Commonplace comments or actions that are often repeated and are intended to cause harm.
    1. Find an ally.
    2. Address the aggressor directly.
    3. Consult management.
    4. Document the bullying
    5. Report the aggressor to their regulatory college initially.
    1. Gossipping
    2. Regularly excluding a specific coworker.
    3. Repeatedly speaking in a raised voice.
    4. Feedback with a goal of behavior modification.
    5. Reporting concerning behavior to management.

    Author of lecture Strategies to Minimize Bullying (Nursing)

     Amber Vanderburg

    Amber Vanderburg

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