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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 23:41 GMT 00:41 UK
Study reveals nurse bully problem
Nurse - generic
Some bullying victims did not tell anyone about the abuse
One in five nurses in Scotland has been bullied at work in the past year, according to a survey.

A poll by nursing union RCN Scotland found bullying and harassment was a continuing problem in healthcare.

Almost a quarter of those bullied sought changes in their work to get away from the bully and one in 10 resigned or found another job.

RCN Scotland's Jane McCready said it was "unacceptable" that an already stressful job was made more difficult.

Ms McCready said no-one should expect nurses to put up with bullying in the workplace.

It became almost impossible for me to do my job well
Nurse who was bullied

She said many bullying victims were afraid to report it for fear of being victimised or being labelled a troublemaker.

"We can't expect nurses to put up with this at work," Ms McCready said.

"No wonder many decided to change jobs or leave nursing altogether. Employers need to retain nurses, not have them leave because they feel they have been left with no other option."

'Tell tales'

Nurses experiencing problems at work should contact their staff representative for advice and support, she added.

A nurse who left her post because she was bullied said it started off with the odd comment, but a couple of months later it had developed into her being intimidated by a number of people.

The nurse, who did not wish to be identified, said: "Some of those involved were nurses but some were not.

"It became almost impossible for me to do my job well. They would make it difficult to get things done and they'd tell tales or even just make things up.

Offering support

"I also found myself passed over for training courses and career development opportunities."

She said managers and the human resources department knew what was going on, and while they were sympathetic, they did not offer significant help or support.

The nurse put up with the bullying for a year and said she did not feel strong enough to make a formal complaint and left her post.

"I know it's still happening to people who work there now and I'm trying to help them through it so they know they're not alone," she added.

Watch a nurse talk about her experience of being bullied

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