Anyway, you know what they say: If you can’t beat them, classify them according to obscure and long-winded stereotypes.
So we did just that.
1. The “Ancient But Fierce” Type
Every unit has at least one nurse on staff who’s been around since the Civil War. Administration doesn’t really know what to do with her (rumor is she lives somewhere in the hospital). She doesn’t really like people, children included, and her methods are so outdated, they’re actually kind of dangerous.
The “ancient but fierce” bully doesn’t really do all that much, mostly because she’s a major liability, but she sure has a lot to say. Things like “That new nurse looks like a real harlot,” “Nurses nowadays are too soft” and “There are no men in nursing.”
If you read up on your history, you’ll find that the phrase “nurses eat their young” entered the nursing world at the same time she did.
2. The Selective Bully
If there’s one bright side to having a real tyrant on the floor, it’s the steel bonds he or she creates between you and all the other sane nurses. That’s why the selective bully is simply the worst.
When Dale from the ER accidentally eats the selective nurse bully’s Clif bar, the bully laughs it off and tells Dale they’re going to have to start packing a lunch for two.
When you accidentally eat the selective bully’s Clif bar, the bully writes you a note saying you and your loved ones are no longer safe.
Dale can’t understand why you act so sour toward the selective nurse bully, who is always so generous and kind to him. You must be socially awkward.
3. The “See’s Candy” Style Bully
You know that saying “Life is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get”? Yeah, so is this nurse bully. Depending upon the day, you’re not quite sure whether the See’s Candy nurse is going to bring you baked goods or verbally abuse you. So in their presence, you mostly just cringe.
Now, there’s no perfect formula, but you’ve at least discovered a slight pattern to this bully’s behavior. Before 11 am? Terrifying. Tuesdays? Approachable. Wednesdays? Forget about it—you might lose your hand.
4. The Cruel and Oppressive Ruler
This nurse bully is in the same league with dictators, whoever invented group texting and Regina George from Mean Girls—they’re just that evil.
The cruel and oppressive ruler doesn’t just humiliate and degrade you; you’re pretty sure they’re responsible for the inexplicable “KY jelly on the stairs” incident that left a new nurse with two broken fingers and a black eye.
You keep checking their work bag for potential weapons or signs of criminal activity. So far? No cigar.
5. The “I Didn’t Know Nursing Was Hard” Bully
This nurse bully is simply a product of ignorance. They probably saw an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, somehow came out on the other side of nursing school and then realized, moments after stepping into the hospital, that they actually hate everything about nursing.
Nobody told them that not every patient will dedicate their firstborn to them or that they’re really, seriously responsible for “cleaning in the folds.” Only stubborn pride and a lack of options has kept them in the field for this long, and everybody else is suffering for it.
They’re kind of like a Bitter Betsy on steroids, and for some reason, administration has placed them in charge of scheduling.
We’ll be saying a silent prayer for you.
So, there you have them—the five nurse bullies you’re likely to encounter in the hospital. We know we haven’t covered all of them, though.
So, help us out and tell us all about your (least) favorite bully type in the comments section below!
This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine