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Bullying is a big topic of conversation across a lot of platforms today. From the very top down, we’re looking at the way bullying can create divisiveness or even uncomfortable situations for those involved. With all the bullying and related abuse so prevalent in the media, it may be time to address the situation in your own nursing career. Have you ever been bullied? What can you do about it or prevent it in the future? Let’s take a look at some proactive solutions to bullying.

Look at bullying from a group perspective.

More often than not, bullying in nursing will be based on group dynamics rather than individual personal dislike. For instance, more experienced nurses might bully new employees. Beyond the target, bullying also affects groups as well. Whether it is those who get pulled into the bullying behavior or the bullying affecting the performance of others.

Take a stand.

As with any type of bullying situation, the best solution is often to take a stand. If you see something, say something. Far too often, nurses don’t want to get involved if it doesn’t directly affect themselves. But this only perpetuates the cycle and causes by standing nurses to be complicit in bullying or abusive behavior. Tell the bullies directly and take it to management.

Ask the right questions in a job interview.

Before you even take a job, it can help for you to ask questions during the interview process to determine if the environment often engages in bullying behavior. Ask about policies that the department has in place to solve the problem of bullying in the workplace.

Create a personal toolkit.

It is always helpful to be armed with a personal toolkit to combat bullying. This doesn’t mean physical items to fight back, but rather your own policies and procedures if you face certain situations in the workplace. Know what the policies are and be able to approach the right people in the instance of negative behavior.

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