Dealing with a Treacherous Coworker
When a bully is a “snake in the grass”
Katie, an experienced nurse new to the department, works with Doris, a unit veteran. While giving report at shift change, Doris tells Katie that it’s the day shift’s responsibility to take care of all early morning CT scans. Katie thanks Doris for letting her know, and begins leaving early a.m. CT scans for the day nurse, thinking this is standard procedure for their unit.
Soon after, however, Katie’s boss calls her in and reprimands her for “dumping” her work on the day shift. Worse, Katie learns that one of the complaints came from Doris, who deliberately sabotaged Katie by giving her false information and setting her up to fail.
While we often think of bullies as striking out through intimidation and verbal abuse, there’s also another type of bully that can be every bit as destructive. I call them “Viper Nurses” because they’re like a snake in the grass, thriving on secrecy. A Viper Nurse may be oh so friendly to your face, only to be unkind as soon as you turn around.
A Betrayal of Trust
Viper Nurses rely on building trust, making people feel secure so they’ll let their guard down. All the while, the bully is watching for weakness and waiting for the opportunity to strike.