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We Won A Webby for our Documentary on workplace bullying!
Given the epidemic of toxic workplaces in the healthcare industry it shouldn’t surprise viewers that the second season of HBO’s “Getting On” opened with the topic…
City of Tuscaloosa adopts policy against workplace bullying Reprinted from FOX 6, Oct 15, 2014 3:34 PM EDT The Tuscaloosa City Council has approved…
Workplace bullying has been linked to severe anxiety, depression and even suicide. Today is Mental Health Day. Take the pledge to be bully-free. http://www.stopthatnow.org Continue…
October is Bullying Awareness Month. Sign the Pledge to be Bully-Free at Work Continue reading →
Given the epidemic of toxic workplaces in the healthcare industry it shouldn’t surprise viewers that the second season of HBO’s “Getting On” opened with the topic of workplace bullying front and center in a very sensitive way. As the title implies, the show takes place in a hospice center. Nurse Dawn is being pressured by her superior to help with a research project in addition to her already emotionally overwhelming job tasks.
Dawn’s immediate supervisor, Patsy De La Serda, tries to help her understand the situation she’s in:
“Dawn, I think we both know what it is. It’s Dr. James. You’re in an abusive and toxic relationship with a woman who hates women and she’s taking it out on you. I think you have difficulty maintaining firm boundaries and saying no.”
Dawn responds: “I say no to her all the time even though it’s very hard for me. It’s true that I am sensitive and it’s true that I let people take and take and take and take and I’m not very comfortable it doesn’t come natural for me to focus on me.”
Patsy counsels her: “Which is why we need to work on your mindfulness training. You can’t be solid in life unless you’re solid with yourself. I take care of me first and then you. I put my seatbelt on then yours. Mindfulness is mind fullness.” [more below]
Later, during a staff meeting they open the suggestion box to find one from anonymous: “Could Doctors, especially Directors of Medicine, kindly stop abusing and coercing nurses into participating as unpaid research assistants.”
It’s clear in the conversation that follows that the Director of Medicine (Dr. James) has no clue that what she’s accused of doing is over the line or that her behavior is perceived as abusive or overbearing — in fact she quickly turns the conversation around to try to show to everyone that she’s the real victim. Dr. James also knows perfectly well that anonymous is Dawn. “I can’t even look at you,” Dawn tells her. “Because, if I look at you either I’m going to feel bad about myself again. I am allergic to you. You have psychologically overwhelmed me. I am physically ill. I am nauseous all the time. I don’t want to do your research I just want you to leave me alone so I can do my job.” Dawn leaves and Patsy tries to speak up for her as the room goes silent.
It’ll be interesting to see where Executive Producers, Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer take the story line. Fingers crossed they don’t go off course, our nurses could use a little TLC.
(Letter from Staten Island)
Dear First Responders:
Monday night an ominous OEM alert, “shelter in place,” flashed onto my cellphone and our neighborhood’s power flickered out. It was comforting to hear emergency sirens piercing the dark as Hurricane Sandy began pushing the Hudson River up our street. A few blocks away an oil tanker washed ashore. Transformers
exploded lighting the sky with strange alien flashes. The smell of (more…)
Yesterday’s New York Times article, The Bullying Culture of Medical School, should shake up everyone involved in the struggle to curb bullying. 13 years ago UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine incorporated policies and prevention techniques to curb bullying. Surveys in the 90s showed that 85% of third year medical students believed they were being mistreated. UCLA’s effort to stop and prevent bullying was broad and encompassing. (more…)
I met Beth through our warm and supportive Facebook Group which encourages targets, past and present, to share information and resources with each other. Beth is publicly sharing her powerful story, printed below, to help raise awareness about the devastating impact of abusive workplaces. She did reach out to the EEOC but says they couldn’t help because her employer was able to make the case that her termination was based on business protocol. The same hurdle is required in the pending legislation she is lobbying for. So, from that perspective, we ask what might have helped her? Some states compensate for the mental duress like Beth experienced and even include back pay/front pay. Currently that depends on what state you live in and many advocates are fighting to have current laws strengthened and expanded on a national level. Our warmest thanks to Beth for sharing her story - for more stories or to share your own go to our sister site NoJobIsWorthThis.com .
This is “My Story” about being bullied by the Practice Manager of a Doctors office. She had been there about three years. I was there over fifteen. Looking back and trying to put the pieces of my life back together. I now know what was the begining of her attempt to control me and the start of the bullying. I was blind (more…)
We’re getting ready to build a specific resource here on this site for nurses that is just about workplace bullying. This morning an article was published that reviews the new book, When Nurses Hurt Nurses: Recognizing and Overcoming The Cycles of Bullying. Some of what the author, Cheryl Dellasega, PhD, CRNP, found is shocking for those of us who only meet medical professionals in the examining room.
…73 percent of adult women found workplace bullying to be common or very common. The same women reported that weekly, they are, on average, a bully 1.5 times, a victim of bullying 1.8 times and a bystander to bullying nearly seven times. Dellasega said bullying is often unintentional.
I posted the article to our Facebook discussion group and one of the members said she felt nurses are so focused on caregiving that they don’t fully understand their rights in the work environment. In the article, Dellasega explains how she sees that play out.
“A lot of what I see is due to these long hours,” she said. “That’s just exhausting. By the end of the day, you’re irritable, you’re frustrated, you’re trying to keep your energy up.”
Dellasega said the whole context of the work environment can be part of a dynamic where somebody starts giving you a hard time or doesn’t have the best communication skills or management skills.
“You’re at the end of your energy and tolerance and the situation just sort of explodes,” she said.
Still, much of the bullying, she said, is aimed at new graduates.
“The group of new nurses may get harassed or picked on or aggressed against, but it’s not like that old dynamic of ‘this is part of the hazing initiative that goes on,’” she said
Send emails, post a comment, or join the Facebook discussion to let me know what you’d like to know more about. There’s a wealth of research, surveys, and national articles on this topic. But, most important, we always need personal stories that help those of us outside of your profession understand and give you back some TLC.
The full article by Linda Friedel about Dellasega’s book published on August 9,2011 is available online thru kccommunitynews.com [The Kansas City Nursing News]