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1 in 6 nurses are the victim of bullying


The latest issue of Nursing Standard, the publication for members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) reports on the incredible extent of bullying by other members of staff after surveying more than 4,000 nurses.

The survey conducted for the RCN found that of the 4,000 nurses questioned, some 17% had been bullied at work in the past year alone, and of those some 10% had decided to leave their jobs as a result of their experiences.

Nearly a third of those who were victims of bullying were from ethnic minorities whilst some 41% were disabled.

Over half of those subjected to bullying – some 55% – had reported the matter to either a senior colleague or made a complaint.

In cases where a complaint had been made about the bullying, well over a third (38%) had no further action taken, and in 10% of cases the victim of the bullying had been assessed as requiring counselling or pschotherapy. Only 5% of complaints resulted in disciplinary action.

HR Zone says: There are indications that workplace bullying is endemic in the UK, with a UMIST report declaring that it affects 1 in 10 of the UK working population and 19 billion working days lost which are traceable to bullying. That does not mean that the issue should be brushed under the carpet – just because it is common does not make it acceptable. Victims of bullying can be traumatised for years and many continue to suffer after the bullying has ended.

The government is currently facing recruitment problems, particularly in the health service and in teaching. The extent of bullying, and the numbers of people forced to leave those professions are significant and it is to be hoped that the issue is tackled vigorously.

One Response

  1. Are Nurses Natural Victims?
    I am not as nurse but am married to one and work in the care industry. I hear a lot of comment about misfortunes, pressures, bullying or unfair work practices, mostly but not exclusively emanating from the NHS. In all the cases I have heard of, the “victim” was almost always the innocent party and cannot be said to have brought trouble upon themselves. However (and this is my point) nurses and carers do seem to be more vulnerable than other professionals. They are inclined not to fight back (perhaps, therefore not discouraging persistence of the bullying). More intriguingly, so many care assistants and nurses seem to be needy of care as well as giving care: their backgrounds are sometimes above-averagely tragic. Is it true that those who choose to care do so because they need or have received care themselves? Are nurses, therefore, inclined to be victims?
    (PS: I’m a male senior manager and have been on the receiving end of bullying by a female senior manager: I do sympathise with the wretches who are bullied).

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