We hear about our school systems dealing with an increase of social abuse between peers. However, this problem is silenced in the work place. Almost as if sucking it up solves it. What we are failing to realize is the toll that social abuse and bullying in the work place is taking on nurses. Not only does it cause mental fatigue, physical fatigue and constant stress, but each one of these factors plays into patient care. Every time we talk behind the back of the team outcast, or demean them in any way, we impact each one of their patients and the provider’s long-term career in the medical field. Your challenge this past week was to stop yourself and others in the act of bullying… whatever form it may take.
This is a non-negotiable when it comes to leadership. If you are bullying or remaining silent while others bully another, whether or not the victim is present while bullying is happening, you automatically revoke your validity as a team leader.
Now I realize I have no right to strip anyone of their status, but you strip yourself of any respect when you condone (which includes doing nothing) any form of bullying in your team or toward other staff members.
I hope this post is unnecessary, and you find yourself patting yourself on the back for the environment you foster that prevents bullying and social abuse toward any member of your team. But if it’s not, I’d implore you to change. Now.
Each individual that’s made it far enough to be a nurse deserves the respect and encouragement of a team. You as a leader have the complete ability to empower people above their circumstances. Circumstances often beyond their control but very much within yours. You can be popular to the crowd or you can be life changing to one person. And I assure you, with an attitude that encourages and lifts, you will change the life of a lot more than just one.