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What can I do about bullying within the organisation?

Kevin Power - Author First published: Last updated:

A Royal College of Nursing survey revealed that up to one in six nurses is subject to bullying at work (Pearce, 2001). Nurses have a professional duty to take action if they are aware that someone is being bullied. Although the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018) Code of Professional Conduct does not make explicit mention of bullying, it does state that there is a duty to report circumstances in the care environment that could jeopardise standards of practice.

There is also a duty placed on nurses by their employer through local policies, which outline actions that should be taken if they are aware of bullying. Howells-Johnson (2000) defines bullying as persistent unwelcome behaviour, such as:

  • unwarranted or invalid criticism
  • nit-picking
  • fault finding
  • exclusion
  • isolation of another
  • singling someone out
  • treating someone differently
  • shouting at someone
  • humiliating someone
  • excessive monitoring of someone’s work performance

Other examples might include making unreasonable work

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Kevin Power

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