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Sometimes, the hospital feels like a giant playground filled with lots of expensive equipment. That’s because earning a set of scrubs doesn’t necessarily eliminate one’s bad habits—and bullying is no exception. In fact, the hospital may even be worse than the playground as far as bullies go—at least your middle-school nemesis didn’t carry a syringe.
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 She doesn’t really like people, children included, and her methods are so outdated, they’re actually kind of dangerous.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.