When I Witnessed Bullying in Nursing School

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It seems that the finest nurses get the worst rap. Because of their empathy and their love and dedication to the job, they are often the ones who are targeted most by bullies. A nurse’s job is hard enough but when she is bullied by not only superiors and coworkers, but patients and their families too, I can only imagine how much harder she must work to hold it together- especially is he/she is fresh out of school.

When a nurse is bullied, it’s devastating and only goes to show what a thankless job he/she does! And sadly, the bullying often starts in nursing school.

There’s a saying that’s been popular for quite a while:

“Nurses eat their young.”

Sadly, it’s true and most likely the reason the medical field has such a shortage of nurses.

If you’ve ever been though nursing school, then you know it’s not only boot camp for your brain, but also a cesspool of bullies. Not that all nurses are bullies because they’re not. We have some fine nurses and they are our heroes! But sadly, the bullies seem to spoil it for all these wonderful people!

It’s shocking that there are bullies in a profession which is centered on care and healing and pride’s itself on compassion and empathy. Yet many students who’d be awesome nurses are often bullied out by those who are only in it for the great pay and prestige they know will come with being a nurse.

And in the workplace, the handful of bullies often make it hard for the greatest nurses in the field!

In 2013, I began training to become an RN. And I won’t pretend that it wasn’t tough. Although there were a few times when a few attempted to bully me, I managed to blow it off and after a few times, they left me alone.

However, there was another woman, a young girl just a few years post high school. I had the displeasure of watching her get tormented by the other students. And they would bully her to the point of tears! Even the instructors mistreated her. My heart broke for her. We’ll call her McKinley.

McKinley was young, a vibrant and gorgeous lady! And beautiful! So beautiful that she could’ve easily been a face on a magazine cover!

I’m not kidding. This young lady had movie star looks- a trim waist, long beautiful hair, wide, almond shaped eyes and a natural sun-kissed glow! And these spiteful older women in the staff seemed to target her every chance they got, which sent the message to the other students that it was okay for them to bully her too.

Bullies only ruin any profession they seek.

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What was really shocking was that the two main bullies in the class would cheat on tests and when the rest of the class reported them, they were allowed to get away with it because, conveniently, the cameras in the classroom weren’t working or so it was told. And would you believe these instructors made sure the cheaters went on to graduate?

It’s funny how those two seemed to get a free pass. But you can bet that if they’d accused sweet McKinley of the same, they wouldn’t have thought twice about kicking her out of the nursing program!

Lucky for me, I still remember the cheater’s names and will know who to watch out for in the event I get sick and end up in a hospital bed.

As I continued to watch McKinley get berated, I grew both sad and angry at the same time. So, I decided to befriend her and immediately took her under my wing, giving her a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on when she needed.

Having been bullied in the past and knowing well how it felt, I bore this child’s pain! She soon become “my daughter from another mother” and through the rest of the semester, McKinley and I were inseparable.

I never went back after that semester. This experience made me realize that this wasn’t really what I wanted to do. McKinley dropped out the following semester.

She and I remain friends to this day and and I’m exited to say, she’s happy! McKinley has moved on to a better life. Having since gotten married and had two children. She’s also moved on to another career, one she enjoys!

McKinley now has the job, family and home she’s always wanted and I couldn’t be more proud of her. And I have no doubt she will continue to make her surrogate mother proud!

Reminder:
Don’t forget to pray from all the nurses and other healthcare workers during this crisis! They not only put themselves, but their families at risk! Pray that God will form a hedge of protection around them and bless them with staying healthy as they continue to put in long hours and help those who are stricken with Coronavirus.

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