Individually, in pairs, or in small groups (depending on your context) decide what you should/could/will do when next faced with witnessing, experiencing, hearing about, or engaging in bullying. Consider responses from the perspectives of learners, new graduates, ‘new to the environment’ nurses, experienced nurses, nurse educators, and nurse leaders. In addition to exploring bullying at the intrapersonal and interpersonal level, consider the situation at the broader organization, sociocultural, historical, and political levels.
As an individual and as a group of peers/colleagues/learners/educators/leaders, how aware/comfortable/uneasy are you with the environment in which you practice?
Is there a need to revisit the values embedded in the culture in which you practice?
Is the environment one that is open and welcoming of the ‘hard conversations’? Or, is there resistance to ensuring there are clear and visible processes in place to draw on if (but more likely when) bullying occurs?
Are there regular education sessions about bullying? Its prevalence? Its causes? Its effects? Its prevention? Its management? For nurses, faculty members, staff, educators, learners, leaders?
Are there reporting mechanisms in place? Are these mechanisms visible and easily accessible? Can they be enacted in safe(r) spaces? Is there trust that something will be done when a report is made (formally or informally)? Or is there fear that complaints and concerns will be brushed under the carpet?
You may want to close your discussion by reflecting on a commitment to do something to reshape the bullying culture in nursing. What is that something? How will you enact it? What supports do you need?
Notes and Resources
Many of the ideas and questions above are informed by our understanding of the literature about bullying. For example, ‘safe(r) spaces is a term we use to acknowledge the difficulty with providing safe space for all. It is not feasible as a safe space for one may be an unsafe space for another. Safe(r) aims to address this challenge by shifting the focus to creating and co-creating spaces that are as safe as possible (Deller, 2019; Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2019). For viewers who may want to explore the topic of bullying further, we offer a selection of literature sources in the ‘References for Vignettes’ Page. But first, let’s watch the scenes.