75 - Workplace Bullying: Too Sensitive or a Silent Epidemic?
Purpose: Within the surgical environment, a known culture of workplace bullying occurs whether from peers, managers, surgeons, anesthesia, etc. Most often, this behavior is considered acceptable and anyone who may falter is considered “too sensitive” or “weak.” Far too often, do we hear “you knew what you were getting into when you wanted to work in surgery.” This is often seen when new hires begin their careers in surgery. They are constantly being warned, scrutinized, hazed, humiliated, often offended, and endure multitudes of distress in just the few short months they begin their nursing careers. You have two options: endure it or change departments. Human Resources, Corporate Compliance, the EEOC, your manager, these people are not going to protect you, no matter what the policy states, no matter how many times you prove the behavior, or no matter what concrete evidence you have. Literature Review: According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), bullying in nursing is defined as “repeated, unwanted, harmful actions intended to humiliate, offend, and cause distress in the recipient.” Bullying of any kind within the workplace can be detrimental to the quality of patient care, the quality of the working environment, patient outcomes, productivity for the company, and the well-being of the staff.Research Question/Hypothesis: If there were more awareness, education, and accountability to this silent epidemic of workplace bullying, then we would see a shift in the surgical culture.Conceptual Framework: A survey will be conducted to determine the knowledge base and feedback of the staff regarding workplace bullying. A survey will be sent to all Surgical Services employees. Once completed, the authors will review and develop a plan to improve the work environment and surgical culture.Methodology: The survey was designed with 3 purposes in mind: awareness of bullying and how to identify it, education on what to do when being bullied or see others being bullied, holding all staff accountable for not allowing workplace bullying.Data Analysis: A follow-up survey will be sent out and the results evaluated. The expected outcome will be staff who are comfortable speaking out about bullying, understand the different types of bullying, and will stand up for those being bullied. Overall, the expected outcome will be a more positive working environment, which will benefit both the staff and the patients.
Results: To be DeterminedConclusions/
Discussion: Bullies skate by on others’ coattails because they are manipulative and typically already in the “in” crowd. They will continue to not fulfill duties and obligations assigned to them, but still receive salaries. They will take credit for others’ work. They will ensure others do not fulfill their duties, as well, and then highlight that specific target. Bullies are the main, but least recognized, cause of negative stress in an organization (Needham, 2003).We focus so much on protecting our children from bullying, why do we allow it among ourselves? It produces the same, if not more, psychological effects as it does with children.Perioperative Nursing Implications: Bullying creates the lack of ability to speak up due to fear of retaliation. Drifts are created from the guidelines to produce a culture of safety in the workplace. Lack of communication can be an outcome due to fear of humiliation from the bullying. A bullying culture creates missed worked days due to stress, anxiety, panic attacks, hypertension, among other illnesses. Decreased productivity, concentration, and decision making, all of which are essential qualities of the perioperative nurse, are a result of bullying. This behavior leads to increased turnover rate. Intimidating behaviors at all levels should be eradicated in the surgical environment in order to have a strong culture of safety. Per AORN recommendations, perioperative personnel should receive ongoing education and complete competency verification activities for establishing and maintaining a safe environment. A safe environment of care is an environment free of bullying.