More and more attention is being brought to the forefront about nurse bullying. This can be peer to peer, doctor to nurse, or patient/family to nurse bullying. Bullying is actually a problem in the nursing world. Many nurses suffer in silence and this can contribute to poor nursing satisfaction scores or poor nursing retention.
The movie, Law of Attraction, discusses bringing attention to what you want and not what you don’t want. Instead of talking about stopping nursing bullying, I’m going to discuss Genshai. Have you ever heard of the word? I hadn’t until this past Christmas when I received a book from a friend titled Aspire. This is a book by Kevin Hall. Kevin has extraordinary insight into words and his book is filled with words that will motivate and change your life.
Genshai is one of those words. Genshai is an ancient word which means you never treat anyone in a manner that would make them feel small, including yourself. I realize this is an idealistic viewpoint that won’t be accepted by all nurses. Some nurses like how it makes them feel to think they are superior and some nurses are just cranky and hate themselves and their job so their discontent is projected onto others.
The movement to start a Genshai culture among nurses will be slow to start. However, like a snowball, this movement in time, will pick up speed and size. Let the culture start with you. Take this idea to your hospital. Buy the book, Aspire. Allow the words to transform how to treat yourself and how you treat others.
My favorite nurse theorist is Dr. Jean Watson. She is the founder of the Watson Caring Science Institute. Dr. Watson developed the Human Caring Theory with 10 Caritas. She also has a Caritas Process to develop helping trusting caring relationships. Take time to explore her website and understand this empowering movement.
My unproven theory on this concept is that if one or two nurses in each hospital could really embrace the Genshai and Caring concepts and introduce them into their facility; then we could in time change the current culture from the bullying environment to one of mutual respect and caring. I’m not naive to believe every nurse is going to embrace these concepts, especially the bully nurses. However, my theory is if enough staff, management, and administration embraced the Genshai and Caring concepts, the bullies would have to get on board and experience an internal change, or their behavior would be so obvious and their behavior would no longer be allowed by management.
I realize management can be part of the problem. With some individuals, even the smallest amount of power brings forth some need to make others feel small. The Genshai concept really addresses these power hungry individuals. There is a difference between requiring employees to do things by the book vs. bullying staff and making them feel small. There are consequences for breaking rules or policies. The consequences can be handed down without emotional bullying attached to it. I remember a manager one time that sent out the most degrading emails to all staff. When addressing a situation as simple as keeping the break rooms clean, there was such a degrading bullying tone as she berated us for a messy break room. Truly, the subject could have been addressed without the degrading tone. She was so over the top with her bully tactics that she was eventually terminated.
What I have outlined is a simple strategy to focus on what we want. We as nurses want an environment where we can pass report on to the next shift nurse without seeing eyes rolled at us because there was something in the continuum of work we weren’t able to get to. We would like to be able to share our pain or concern without fear that a nurse blogger is going to come after us in a social media attack mode.
Like Martin Luther King, I can say “I have a dream”. I have a dream that one day nurses will have a mentally and emotionally safe environment by which to give caring compassionate care. I have a dream that nurses will treat nurses in a way that would not make another person feel small including themselves. The first place to start is with YOU! Don’t treat yourself small. Don’t allow another person to make you feel small. Join me in the movement to start a Genshai environment in the workplace.
~ Authentically Joycelynn
Donna Maheady says
Hi Joyce, Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful, much needed post. We all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and each other.
I would like to add nurses with disabilities to this discussion. I would like to see more nurses with disabilities accommodated and welcomed in the work place. Way too many nurses and nursing students with disabilities have been bullied.
Let’s all try our best to see that no nurse feels small!
Founder of http://www.ExceptionalNurse.com