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Student focus - Breaking the silence on bullying

Harassment in the workplace should never be tolerated, writes student and new graduate officer Dean Flanagan

The winner of this year’s Preceptor of the Year Award was Orla Quirke, who works on St Brendan’s Ward in Bon Secours Hospital, Tralee. Orla was nominated for the award by Deirdre Lynch, a first-year student at Tralee Institute of Technology.

The Preceptor of the Year Award recognises the vital work of preceptors and their importance to nursing and midwifery education. I wish to congratulate Orla on receiving it. I look forward to meeting with Deirdre soon. Unfortunately, she could not attend the presentation of the award. The award is generously sponsored by Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. See page 31 for more on this.

A new challenge
The INMO has a dedicated Student Section with officers, elected by student members each year, who represent students nationwide. The Section has input into policy planning and the shaping of the nursing education agenda. If you’re passionate about nursing and want your region or country to be heard, why not consider becoming part of the committee? Or, why not represent students and new graduates at a more local level?

It was great to see more students becoming involved at the branch and grassroots level at the INMO’s annual delegate conference (ADC) last month. If you want to be involved in your local branch, email: deanflanagan@inmo.ie to find out when your next meeting is scheduled. New graduates can also become involved with their peers at the INMO Youth Forum.

Pictured at the IMNO ADC in Kilkenny in May were (l-r): INMO student and new graduate officer, Dean Flanagan; Elizabeth O’Hare, INMO Drogheda Branch, Student Section; Tony Fitzpatrick, INMO industrial relations officer; Kate Finnamore, INMO Drogheda Branch and Student Section; Darren O’Cearuill, INMO Executive Council student representative; and Grace Murphy, INMO Student Section and Dublin Youth Forum

Labour Relations Commission
The LRC meeting,due to be held on May 27, was postponed and we are currently awaiting a new date. We will keep you updated on any progress.

Topic of debate from ADC
One of the motions from the recent ADC that sparked great debate was about bullying in the workplace. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect at work and bullying and harassment of any kind should not be tolerated. It undermines physical and mental health, frequently resulting in poor work performance.

Other possible consequences include:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Loss of confidence
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive double-checking of actions
  • Inability to relax.

Employers have a duty of care to provide a safe and healthy working environment and this is an implied term of every contract of employment. Employees also have a responsibility to ensure their behaviour does not distress colleagues.

If you are a student on placement and you experience bullying, see your local policies and report this to your link lecturer or placement co-ordinator as soon as possible. You may also contact me (email: deanflanagan@inmo.ie) and I will advise you further and refer you to your local INMO representative.

Support is also available from your students’ union. Students are sometimes afraid that if they make a fuss, it will prejudice the character reference they need to progress on their course. This should not be a problem if your case is dealt with properly, through correct university or workplace bullying and harassment policies.

Until you do something about it, it is unlikely that the bullying behaviour will stop. It is much better for your well being to take action and to help others in the future by showing that bullying won’t be tolerated.

Don’t feel that you have to wait until you are at breaking point to take action. For further information see: www.hse.ie/policies and pages 44-45 of this issue for a survey on bullying.

Student focus - Breaking the silence on bullying


June 2014 Vol 22 (5)
Editorial - No must mean no
June 2014 Vol 22 (5)
ADC - Motions in brief
June 2014 Vol 22 (5)
ADC 2014 through a lens...
June 2014 Vol 22 (5)
Library - Care of the older person
June 2014 Vol 22 (5)
Bullying at work
June 2014 Vol 22 (5)
June 2014 Vol 22 (5)
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