I'm responding to "Nurse against Nurse: How to Stop Horizontal Violence" (March 2005) because I experienced nurse-to-nurse hostility when I was a newly hired RN at a hospital with a reputation for excellence. Several senior nurses in the unit treated the new RNs like idiots, humiliating us in the report room in front of other nurses. I tried to remain professional, even asking the main abuser in private to stop the behavior. None of the other new hires would speak up for fear of retaliation.
I reviewed our facility policy and reported the situation. The worst offender denied the abuse. The only reprimand she received was documentation on her record. After about a year, I left this unprofessional environment.
We have a responsibility to our co-workers to treat each other fairly, and our managers have a responsibility to make sure behavior like this isn't tolerated. I thank you, Ms. Leiper, for speaking out. It's time for us to stop ignoring abusive behavior in the workplace and take action.
-NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST
As a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit for the past 10 years, I've seen many new nurses come and go. I'm confused and saddened by the attitudes and ethics of some newer RNs coming into this field. Of course I agree that it's unacceptable to be violent or aggressive in the workplace. But I've been told that my confidence and competence are intimidating to new employees.
I don't understand why pushing co-workers to improve their skills and do the best they can is frowned upon by upper management. Now it's "harassment" if you challenge a co-worker to improve. Our patients are counting on us to know our job and perform it to the best of our ability.
NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST