The Nurse Path founder Ian Miller says that bullying is the topic that comes up in his conversations both online and amongst other nurses more than any other. Laurie Bickhoff from Defining Nursing has also spoken of the infamous “eat our young” culture in nursing.
So if you’re a nursing student embarking on your clinical placements this year, perhaps go in with the knowledge that you may be exposed to bullying in some of the workplaces you visit.
Of course there are official documents used by hospital nursing unit managers to characterize and prevent workplace bullying, but a study published in the Journal of Advanced indicates that the discourse only focused on the prevention of bullying by moulding the behaviours of individuals.
The study found that the discourse of workplace bullying prevention centred around three themes: prevention of workplace bullying through managerial presence, normalizing behaviours and controlling behaviours. All three are individual level discourses, despite of the fact that workplace bullying is a complex issue with antecedents at the individual, departmental and organizational level.
So for nursing students about to start a clinical placement, it’s important to be aware that there may be some complexities within an organisation that are beyond their control as a student. However, there are some tips for student nurses in the video by Renee Thompson.
According to Renee, it is important to:
- Recognise the behaviour as bullying
- Be aware that it will take moral courage to stop accepting the behaviours as normal
- Remember that you deserve to work in an environment that is supportive and nurturing
For tips on bully-proofing yourself by being aware of your own behaviours and the signals they send to a potential bully, watch the videos below:
More articles and resources on My Health Career:
- Are robotic nurses really on the horizon?
- New graduate nurses’ caring qualities declined after experiencing “workplace misfit”
- 49% of RACS Fellows, trainees and international medical graduates experience discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment – so what now? Expert Advisory Group releases final report
- At Their Mercy – the 4 Corners report about sexual harassment and bullying in surgical training
Image: Alexas_Fotos – pixabay