Did you know that 45% of nurses have been verbally harassed or bullied by other nurses? That’s according to a 2017 survey by employment agency RNnetwork. And nurses are not the only part of the healthcare world affected by bullying and cliques. In this episode of Leading with Health, I talk about my own experience with cliques and bullying and how that impacts healthcare.

Highlights include:

2:55 – But subtle harassment is “incivility,” which is about sabotage, withholding information, excluding others, unfair assignments and downplaying accomplishments. Source: 8 Things to Know about Nurse Bullying

3:30 – JM: “Medicine is top-down, which means somebody is worth less.”

3:52 – JM: “It’s hazing, a sense of ‘I went through this abusive experience so you should have to, too.'”

7:10 – JM: “I have started to wonder and hypothesize: do a lot of people get involved with Rescue because their home life is falling apart?”

9:35 – The cliquish nonsense that arose when I first started learning to drive the ambulance.

13:30 – JM: “It’s not anything overt – in my case, overtly, it was fine – but the emotional dynamic was a ‘mean girl’ dynamic. It felt like junior high school.

14:19 – JM: “What amazed me is how insecure and how self-doubting it made me.

16:45 – JM: “I just started thinking, what does it cost us to be self-doubting all the time?

17:45 – JM: “And I started thinking how this abusive setting that we have created in our medical world leads to these ongoing abuses where people turn on one another because there’s not enough support to go around.”

18:07 – JM: “And people who get that abusive training don’t know a different way to train the next group and they pass it on. Or they have their entire identity based on making someone else feel small.

18:20 – JM: “And if it’s not weeded out, what does that do to the whole team, the whole department?”

19:42 – JM: “The minute this ‘indispensable,’ abusive boss retired, they were able to find a replacement. So why had they always chosen to keep him on at the expense of everybody else?”

20:35 – JM: “We can’t allow bullying and cliques to become the norm in any aspect of healthcare because it always erodes the care that is being given.”

20:48 – JM: “You cannot give your best care when you are not feeling supported.

22:00 – JM: “When you deal with a clique or are being bullied, you don’t bring your full game because you are distracted and you are trying to be self-protective.”

23:33 – JM: “What happens when we are in these situations and we leave part of ourselves at the door because it’s too painful to walk in with our full self and be humiliated or be excluded or be yelled at or be minimized or devalued?

23:55 – JM: “We lose so much of what we have to offer. And when you magnify that by how many people this is happening to the loss is staggering.”

24:35 – JM: “Why do we continually value the bully over the people they are bullying? If you get rid of one bully, 20 people will step up in a way you never thought they could.

Leading with Health is the podcast where women dive into societal change through the lens of healthcare. Host Jennifer Michelle has a Master’s in Public Health and Epidemiology and is a certified EMT. As President of Michelle Marketing Strategies, Jennifer specializes in healthcare marketing.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash.