Dealing with toxicity at work


I need some advice. I’ve been working with a nurse who is a bully for 7 years. I personally have learned how to deal with it, which is sad, but she is after new nurses now. She continually lies to and about our supervisor, skips over the chain of command, makes people cry, upsets the surgeons (I work in the OR), is unprofessional, and has even gone as far as making racist comments in front of our African American co-workers. I’m done. I’m not going to stand by anymore and let this continue. I’m going to do something. My question is what? She has been written up and “counseled” about her behavior, but our director is under the impression that we are targeting her and she is the victim. He won’t do anything. He and my manager have refused to meet with me about this employee. I’m looking for advice on how best to handle this situation without committing professional suicide. Thank you.


I feel your pain. I am a 40 year veteran RN of the OR myself and have worked with many bullies over the years. My most recent experiences have been with the worst kind, the boss bullies. Very quick to accuse others of bullying behavior when they are the epitomy of bullying themselves. My experiences have been that the more you try to get justice against the bully, the worse it is for you. You already have everything stacked in the bully’s favor if Management won’t even meet with you. Which is totally unacceptable. The only way you could address anything would be to go over their heads to the next level. In order to achieve any success with this, you would need support from the Drs. And this means all of them, which will never happen because some would rather just complain about it, but never risk anything to fix it. My real time advice to you is twofold- first to just work and ignore the behavior, which as you know, is extremely difficult or second to cut your losses and find another job. She has everything in her favor and sadly you do not. I speak from personal experience!


I wish i had good advice for you. Dealing with something similar in my work environment now, it seems that continuing to have good work ethic helps. Keep focusing on being professional in new positions. The people who need to notice, will. Also, my preceptor told me to focus on the positives and actually write down things you have done right/well. The side eye I was getting from my co-worker was making me question my skills and abilities too. This list helped and I had started it on a day that I ended up losing a patient. You sound strong and dedicated.


I’m a new nurse, just made it through my first year, and I am actually leaving a job for this reason. My manager picks favorites and there is no consistency. The CNAs refuse to help when I ask because I’m younger than them or new even though the boss says I am supposed to “run” the floor. They eat their young, and the other nurses do not want to help. I have stayed until 2:30 am for a 3-11 shift because not one of the fellow nurses would help. It is so sad but I had to move away to a new job because of it.


Wow, I have been a nurse on med-surg unit for 33 years and that was what it was like for me when I was new, Seems nothing has changed. You said you manager and director won’t meet with you I assume you mean director of nursing. I have experienced this many times in my years as a nurse and for some reason management doesn’t want to deal with these people and I have never understood why. I think they are afraid of them and what they might do to them. These are the people that will accuse a manager of something as revenge or sue if they are fired. It is easier to ignore them. But my experience with them (and I have worked with many of this type) is that eventually it blow up in their face and usually in a big way. Why haven’t you gone to HR? Management and administration can ignore this but HR cannot. And make sure you put things in writing. Good luck with this.

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