Dr. Renee Thompson: Top Five Most Popular Articles About Nurse Bullying

This post is part of a series of posts on nurse bullying and conflict in the workplace written by Dr. Renee Thompson, DNP, RN, CMSRN. Dr. Thompson is one of the top professional development and anti-bullying thought leaders in nursing.

In November of 2015, I wrote my first article for American Sentinel University about the rampant bullying in healthcare. The amazing folks at American Sentinel previously reached out letting me know how committed they were to helping nurses who were struggling with workplace bullying and incivility and wanted to partner together to STOP it. I’m happy to say, 42 articles later and numerous conversations on line and on the phone with nurses, I believe we’ve made a dent in this problem.

As we know, life is all about change; about growing and learning; about continuous improvements; and about closing some doors while opening others. I’m both happy and sad to say that this is my last article in this series for American Sentinel.

Over the last two years, some articles were more popular than others. Some sparked heated debates on Facebook while others were…meh. What made this series successful was the remarkable and courageous nurses who read, commented, shared, and then, most importantly, took action to make their worlds a better place.

The following articles represent the five most popular posts based on views and engagement.

1 – How incivility shows up in nursing

Incivility is defined as rude or unsociable speech or behavior. Someone cuts in front of you while you’ve been waiting in line forever, a coworker who ignores you when you say hello, or perhaps the employee who uses the last piece of paper in the printer but doesn’t fill the tray – incivility is rampant.

But what happens when incivility shows up in nursing? Click here to read more.

2 – Six essential bullying basics you must know

Bullying and incivility are on the rise. It is now estimated that up to 93 percent of people who work in healthcare have either experienced or witnessed bullying or incivility. I have had conversations with nurses all over the world, and based on those conversations, it is clear bullying is alive and well in the nursing industry. As I spend time helping individuals and organizations address and eliminate bullying behaviors in the workplace, I continue to be appalled at the behaviors displayed by adult professionals.

But one thing I’ve learned, not everyone truly understands bullying basics. Click here to read more.

3 – How to stop the nurse to nurse zinging

Your co-worker, Donna, leaves you a mess at the end of her shift. So in turn, you leave Donna a mess. You’ve just “zinged” her. Zinging behavior occurs frequently in healthcare. A nurse forgets to include a peer on an important email about a mandatory competency that’s due, so the excluded nurse conveniently “forgets” to share important details regarding schedule requests. One nasty gram sparks a retaliatory nasty gram. And I’m sure you can think of dozens more.

Zinging is a form of retaliation. You perceive someone is inconsiderate or deliberately cruel and you find a way to get him or her back. Click here to read more.

4 – How incivility leads to bullying

When small acts of incivility go unchallenged, they can escalate to bullying. Why? Because bullies gain a heightened sense of power when you ignore low levels of bad behavior. This power leads to more and more acts of aggression to the point where bullies feel untouchable, and the disruptive behaviors often escalate if left unchecked. We know that it’s the low level acts of incivility that lead to higher acts of bullying. So what do you do when you’re up against a bully in the workplace? Click here to read more.

5 – The witness, the target, and the bully – which one are you?

According to Gallup, the number one reason someone stays or leaves their job is the relationship they have with their boss. The second reason is whether or not they feel a sense of belonging. Think about it. These are social reasons. They have nothing to do with the location, money, benefits, sign-on bonus, etc. and everything to do with the people aspects of the work. If you have bullying and incivility, your nurses won’t feel a sense of belonging and they will leave.

One way we can help decrease the hemorrhaging of nurses is for each of us to understand the role we play. We are either a target of bullying, a witness to bullying, or we are the bully. The question you have to ask yourself is this – which one are you? Click here to read more.

As we close this door, please don’t let it be the last time you access content related to bullying and incivility. Remember, it takes all of us doing our part to stop the cycle of bullying and incivility in healthcare! Knowledge is awesome but without action, knowledge is just thoughts and ideas in your head. Together, we can make the world a kinder, more respectful and supportive place!

Be kind. Take care. Stay connected.

-Renee

 

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