I once worked with someone whom everyone referred to as a “lazy nurse”. It was because Tamara’s primary goal during a 12-hour
#1 Most Powerful Intervention to Stop the Cycle of Bullying
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You’re walking down the hallway on your unit. When you turn the corner, you see and hear Tina screaming and yelling at Amy, a new nurse. Tina is pointing her finger at Amy and calling her stupid. Amy looks like she is ready to burst into tears.
What do you do?
You have 2 options:
Option #1: You walk up to Tina and confront her about her behavior.
Option #2: You turn around and walk away.
What would MOST humans do?
Most humans would turn around quietly and walk the other way.
Because we get really uncomfortable confronting other humans about behavior. We think, “it’s none of my business, or, I’m just glad she isn’t yelling at my, or, I’m afraid of what she will do/say if I speak up.”
The AACN and Vital Smarts conducted a study a few years ago and asked 1700 healthcare employees this question (I’m paraphrasing): If you witnessed bad practice or bad behavior, would you speak up?
How many of us do you think would speak up to a physician who is about to insert a central line but isn’t using the 5 barriers? Or, speak up to someone like Tina who is being overtly disruptive on the unit?
10% – That means 90% of us would stay silent!
Can you see how our silence is impacting our profession AND patient outcomes??
Did you know, that the #1 most powerful intervention to stop the cycle of bullying is for the WITNESS to speak up – not the victim
The next time you witness bullying behavior, take a deep breath, push past your discomfort and speak up!
Walk right up to Tina and say, “You’re screaming and yelling at Amy in the hallway where patients can hear you. And you need to stop.” And then support Amy. She will need it.
As Matt Langdon stated so eloquently, “The opposite of a hero isn’t a villain – it’s a bystander.”
Nurses created the phrase, “nurses eat their young.” Nurses are the ones who can stop it.
Be kind, take care and stay connected!
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