I recall reading a story a while back about a young nurse who killed herself due to excessive bullying that she was receiving at work. If I remember correctly, she was working as a psych nurse. A bunch of the other nurses on the unit were bullying her so bad that she killed herself. How ironic is that? You would think that psych nurses would know better. Now, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that their intention was not to push this girl so far to the edge that she ended her life. In fact, I’m pretty certain it wasn’t. Of course, that does not in any way excuse them or make what they did any less repulsive.
This story shined the light on something that many of us who work in healthcare already knew. The excessive bullying of coworkers in the healthcare setting is quite real and completely unacceptable. While I believe suicide is never the answer to escape one’s problems; I also believe that no one should ever be pushed to the point that they feel this is the only way out.
A person has enough to deal with at work without having to listen to the taunting, mocking, name calling and down right abuse from their colleagues. These are the people that are supposed to provide support. Instead, they create a toxic work environment that is unbearable to deal with. It is truly not acceptable. Healthcare workers are there to provide patient care, not deal with ridiculous drama from other staff members. It’s even worse when management is the one creating it.
Why do we need to behave this way? What benefit does someone get by treating another person poorly? Why can’t we just be more kind? If you see your coworker struggling, instead of mocking or looking down on them, lend them a helping hand. If you see other people engaged in bullying, don’t feel like you have to jump in, because you don’t. Stand up for others who are unable to stand up for themselves. Kindness does go a long way. Bullying certainly exists and it always will. Unfortunately, many people never leave that high school mindset. Their only relief seems to be taking the joy out of others. It does not have to be this way and none of us have to behave like them.
If you are someone who is experiencing bullying, reach out for help. Set boundaries and communicate with your coworkers and those who you trust. Seek the assistance of organizations in your area or your facility that can help you. You don’t just have to take it. You shouldn’t just have to take it. If you are a bully, then take a long look at yourself in the mirror and see what your shortcomings are. Why are you acting this way towards others? We all have them, but it does not make us any less important as people. Also, having issues in our own lives does not give us the right to treat others poorly. In the end, it is better to be kind and help avoid tragedies like what happened to the unfortunate young nurse from earlier.