During the month of October, the world comes together to raise awareness for bullying prevention and to reflect on where we have been, where we are now, and where we hope to be in the years to come. This year’s National Bullying Prevention Month marks the 11th anniversary of its initiation by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.

This month serves as a reminder that bullying prevention must be addressed, and one way to accomplish this is through educating ourselves, our workplaces and our communities.

Let’s Connect & Share!

This year, during National Bullying Prevention Month, I want to bring attention to the power of our individual and collective voice, which is why my social media channels will feature daily tips & actionable strategies starting Oct 1.

As my friends and partners in preventing Bullying & Workplace Incivility, I ask that you do 2 things with me this October:

  1. Take the time to become more aware of the serious consequences of bullying and to learn more about what you can do prevent bullying.
  2. So that we can reach more people with these important Bullying Prevention messages, please consider sharing these daily tips and my blog posts across your social media networks! If you haven’t already, you can connect with me here:

Here’s a Warm Up: My Most Viewed Posts About Bullying

As I travel across the world speaking about workplace bullying, nurses eagerly share their stories with me; stories that make me sad, stories that embarrass me, and stories that downright shock me.  I share these stories and actionable strategies to prevent workplace bullying and incivility in my weekly blog posts.  To get Bullying Prevention Awareness Month started on the right foot, here’s a quick round up of my top 5 most viewed blog posts this year!

1. Nurse Bullying:  What To Do When Support Staff Are Bullies

As a new grad, Stacie was prepared to face nurse bullying by the older, senior nurses. She learned about it in school, experienced it as a student during her clinical rotations, and even did her own search on the web to help “bully-proof” herself. She was prepared and confident that she could recognize AND address any attempts at “eating” her.

What Stacie wasn’t prepared for was being bullied by the nursing assistant.

We teach people how to treat us. If we blow off someone’s rude behavior we teach them they can behave that way. Click to Tweet

 

2. How Bullies Use Exclusion in the Workplace & What You Can Do About It

No one likes to feel excluded – especially at work – but exclusion plays a bigger role than we may think in the workplace. Exclusion means to “shut or keep out” to “expel and keep out” or to “shut out from consideration”. Exclusion is a powerful weapon bullies use when trying to force someone out or make someone feel rejected by the group.

No one likes to feel excluded – especially at work – but exclusion plays a bigger role than we may think. Click to Tweet

 

3. Bullying & The 3 P’s

Let’s face it; bullying is awful. Nobody likes to be yelled at, made to feel incompetent, or treated with disrespect in the work place. However, the healthcare environment can be extremely stressful and unpredictable, requiring quick action, which can sometimes lead to folks coming across as either snarky or barky.  High stress can also lead to disruptive behaviors. While some might just say, “suck it up buttercup”, the effects of disruptive behaviors reach far beyond the medical staff.

Disruptive behaviors among healthcare employees ultimately reach the patients we serve.

Disruptive behaviors among healthcare employees ultimately reach the patients we serve. Click to Tweet

 

4. The Difference Between Bullying & Incivility

I frequently get asked by organizations to help them eliminate workplace bullying. The conversations we have are always about BULLYING – the physicians bullying the nurses, the nurses bullying each other and the support staff, etc. And then I go in, “pull back the covers and lift up the gown” to find out if there is really a bullying problem.

Here is what I find:

SOME bullying – not a ton, but an awful lot of incivility.

Even though I’ve written about this, talked about this, and created a few videos about it, I’m not confident people truly understand the difference between bullying and incivility. Keep in mind; both bullying and incivility are NOT okay. Both need to be addressed but it’s important to understand the differences because the strategies to eliminate are a bit different.

Incivility is different than bullying. While the behaviors can be similar, they tend to be lower level. Click to Tweet

 

5. Stop Workplace Bullying: Make Policy Your Friend

I receive pleas for help almost every day from nurses all over the world. The stories, although with different details, all involve some level of bullying or incivility. And, they all finish their messages the same way – with a plea for help.

Across the globe, nurses are suffering because for whatever reason, their co-workers have decided to squash them. Bullying threatens civilized society and undermines the core essence of what nursing is all about – care, competence, and compassion.

Did you know that up to 93% of all nurses have either witnessed or experienced workplace bullying? How in the world are we (nurses) supposed to provide the care our public deserves when we can’t even care for each other?

Bullying threatens civilized society and undermines the core essence of what nursing is all about. Click to Tweet

We are hemorrhaging really great nurses to bullying and incivility. By joining together under an umbrella of civility, respect, support, and appreciation for each other, we can STOP the cycle of bullying!

Take care. Be kind. Stay connected.