Bullying in the Clinical Setting
As an undergraduate nursing student, I am no stranger to clinical rotations. While theory and lectures are an important part in learning, I feel that the most learning comes from hands on patient contact that we recieve as students in the clinical setting. We get to come face to face and even participate in the care of patients with problems we learn about in our books and from our professors. I particularly enjoy my rotatons, as they are the core reason I chose nursing as my profession, because they give me the chance to have human interaction and to hopefully make a meaningful difference in someone's day. However, there are many times that I as a student nurse have felt ignored or like I was burdening the nurse on duty, when my only goal is to help the patient, and hopefully alleviate some of the nurses tasks for the day.
It is upsetting to know that people who have chosen a career that is known for its compassion and understanding can be so rude to students who have also chosen the same path. While I myself have never experienced what I would consider bullying, I did find many online articles and posts detaiing accounts with nurse on nurse bullying, including a study done in Canada by Clarke, Kane, Rajacich, and Lafreniere (2012). In this comprehensive study it was found that in a 4 year nursing program 88.72% of students reported that they had personally experienced an act of bullying in the clinical setting. Most of these acts of bullying were verbal and came from nurses, aides, doctors and even clinical instructors (Clarke, Kane, Rajacich, & Lafreniere, 2012).
I know that due to the nursing shortage, there is alot of pressure put on nurses to have more patients, work longer hours and provide better results. This puts undue stress on them and can in turn cause them to have bitter attitudes and cause negative experiences for both students and possibly patients. If we are to end the nursing shortage and aid in the promotion of health, we need to be accepting of new nurses coming into the workplace, including students. Though this post was mostly about bullying in the clinical setting, this is not to say it is the norm. I have also had many wonderful experiences with nurses who want to teach new nurses about their craft, but it is a sad truth that bullying still exists. I vow to always remember my experiences in nursing school, and to foster students should I come in contact with them later in my career.
Clarke, C.M., Kane, D.J., Rajacich, D.L., & Lafreniere, K.D. (2012) Bullying in undergraduate clinical nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, Vol 51 No. 5, pp 269-276.
|by Kimberly Oldham | July 15, 2014|