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  • Clara Wajngurt

What Happens When Nurses Are Bullied?

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

There are many examples of nurses being bullied. Some of these bullying behaviors consist of personal attack, like criticism, isolation, intimidation, degradation, belittling, rolling eyes in disgust, hand gestures that steer the conversation or even physical abuse. and erosion of professional competence and reputation .As a result of this, the targeted nurse loses self-confidence which then escalates to cause stress, physical illness and mental distress like anxiety.

Negative behaviors that make the job of  the targeted nurse difficult include-having an unmanageable workload which includes many patients, receiving punitive actions from supervisor like posting medical errors on a public blackboard for all to see and  a supervisor who writes critical evaluations for the nurse. So the impact of bullying on nurses' productivity and impairment of their physical and psychological conditions persist.

Power imbalance occurs in the hospital because there are many hierarchical groups-between managers, supervisors and subordinates as well as physicians, nurses, social workers and

licensed practical nurses, health aides, etc.Barry, Gillespie, Gordon and Gates have found that 21.3% of newly graduated novice nurses were exposed to workplace bullying in their prior six months on the job, and subsequently their work productivity significantly was reduced.

We need organizational support and commitment to protect nurses' health and welfare from the damaging effects or workplace bullying.

If you would like more information on workplace bullying or our services visit: or write to me at

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