Authors: Birks M, Cant RP, Budden LM, Russell-Westhead M, Sinem Üzar Özçetin Y, Tee S
Nurse Educ Pract. 2017 Jul;25:14-21
Bullying in health workplaces has a negative impact on nurses, their families, multidisciplinary teams, patient care and the profession. This paper compares the experiences of Australian and UK baccalaureate nursing students in relation to bullying and harassment during clinical placement. A secondary analysis was conducted on two primary cross-sectional studies of bullying experiences of Australian and UK nursing students. Data were collected using the Student Experience of Bullying during Clinical Placement (SEBDCP) questionnaire and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The total sample was 833 Australian and 561 UK students. Australian nursing students experienced a higher rate of bullying (50.1%) than UK students (35.5%). Students identified other nurses as the main perpetrators (Aust 53%, UK 68%), although patients were the main source of physical acts of bullying. Few bullied students chose to report the episode/s. The main reason for non-reporting was fear of being victimised. Sadly, some students felt bullying and harassment was 'part of the job'. A culture of bullying in nursing persists internationally. Nursing students are vulnerable and can question their future in the 'caring' profession of nursing after experiencing and/or witnessing bullying during clinical placement. Bullying requires a zero tolerance approach. Education providers must develop clearer policies and implement procedures to protect students - the future nursing workforce.