Nurses who are bullied can effect the nurse in many different ways physically, psychologically, and emotionally.
Some physical consequences nurses can have from being bullied are headaches, stress ulcers, gastrointestinal upset, insomnia, fatigue, and loss of concentration. Normally, it is not just one of these symptoms, a nurse can have at least two of these problems.
Some psychological issues that can manifest from being bullied is depression, anxiety, helplessness, post traumatic stress disorder, and impaired social skills. Coming to work everyday to be bullied can take a toll on a person. These nurses will not want to come to work, because they know what is waiting for them, which causes them to be more anxious and depressed. If nurses feel like they are constantly being attacked, they will eventually shut down and just not talk or interact with anyone, even their patients.
Bullying can take such an effect on these nurses that they start to call into work or they may even up and quit their job. At this point, bullying is not only effecting the one who is being harassed, but the quality of patient care comes into question.
The more a nurse is being bullied, the more stressed out, anxious, and depressed the nurse is that he or she is not giving their patients all their attention. If a nurse is not, mentally, 100% there when taking care of patients, that leaves a lot of room for error. Which patient safety is then a major factor in all of this.
If a nurse decides to call into work because the person or persons who is bullying him or her is working that day, then that leaves the floor short one nurse. To most floors that is a major problem, because that can determine if other nurses have to take care of 6 or more patients, compared to the original 4 or 5 patients. This is a huge safety concern for patients and for staff. This increases risk for medication errors, patient falls, or physical harm to staff. When there is not many people around to help transfer a patient (for example), then the nurse or tech will take it upon themselves to try to transfer the patient alone which can result in injury not only for the patient but for the nurse taking care of them.
Click here to read more about the effects of bullying has on nurses and the patients.