Can there be bullying in the workplace?

Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Geriatrics Nursing

Absolutely! A current CBC Radio program is called 'White coat, black art'. It focuses on various aspects of the health care industry. Recently, the topic was 'Nurse bullying". Even those who have been taught about therapeutic skills, the use of self as therapy and are motivated by a desire to help others bully their own kind. In fact, the common saying is that "nurses eat their young". Kathleen Bartholomew is an author and expert in the USA on workplace bullying by nurses.

The health care industry is not alone. I suspect that private industry is less tolerant of bullying because it impacts the bottom line through higher staff turnover and lost productivity. However, bureaucracies are a different matter because they are not driven by making a profit. They are driven by staying within budget and that puts its own kind of pressure on staff and managers. That pressure acts as a legitimization for bullies in positions of responsibility.

Bullying in all arenas of life, including the workplace, robs society of everyone's full contributions. It costs the country, the industry and individuals who are verbally and mentally damaged by bullies. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.