Some bullies wear white coats, new research suggests.
Although medical professionals aim to treat their patients with compassion, empathy, and respect, the vast majority do not live up to these same ideals. work with each otherAccording to a recent article published by Massachusetts General Hospital.
Christine Porat, an expert on unprofessional workplace behavior cited in the article, said this week, based on her research, that “too many health care workers and doctors are treated with disrespect.”
And “we’ve found that many people don’t report it out of fear or frustration,” he added.
Porath has studied disrespect at work in nearly two dozen industries, including health care, and is a professor of management at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business; he is also a consultant advising leading organizations on creating thriving workplaces.
In a November 2022 Harvard Business Review article in which he shared his research, he said that workplace bullying is “defined as rude, disrespectful, or uncaring behavior.”
For more than 20 years, he has surveyed “the experiences of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.”
Misbehavior in the workplace is on the rise due to a number of factors, said Porath, author of the 2022 book Mastering Community: Surprising Ways We Move From Surviving to Thriving.
These factors include the stress of the COVID pandemic; today’s economic recession; the ongoing war in Ukraine; a weak sense of community; negative emotions; increased use of technology; and lack of self-awareness.
76% of those surveyed said they experience bullying at work at least once a month.
Its latest survey on the issue involved more than 2,000 people, including frontline workers, in more than 25 industries worldwide. It was found that 76% of the respondents experience cruelty at work at least once a month, and 78% witness it.
Porath isn’t the only one facing health care issues.
A 2022 Medscape survey of more than 1,500 physicians found that 86 percent of those physicians had witnessed or experienced bullying or harassment by clinicians or staff in the past five years.
And 15 percent of respondents said they had behaved badly in the past year.
Health and social care workers were five times more likely to experience workplace violence than all other workers.
Also, according to 2018 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, health and social service workers were five times more likely to experience workplace violence than all other workers.
The Joint Commission, which nationally accredits more than 22,000 U.S. health care organizations and programs, revised its “workplace violence” requirements in the workplace last year.
Incidents of “workplace violence” include “verbal, non-verbal, written or physical aggression; threats, intimidation, harassing or degrading words or actions; intimidation; sabotage; sexual harassment; harassment; physical assaults; or other disturbing behavior involving staff, licensed practitioners, patients, or visitors,” the Joint Commission stated in its guidance, effective January 1, 2022.
A “purposeful change” is required
Dr. Pamela S. Douglas, a professor at the Duke School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, said confronting the problem of inappropriate behavior in the health care workplace must involve more than just “raising awareness and sanctions.”
“The only long-term solution is targeted cultural change through a systemic approach,” he said.
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It “requires sustained leadership and [a] commitment of organizational resources,” he added.
During the examination of the application, a pattern of unprofessional behavior of the specialist was revealed.
Dr. Gerald Hickson, founding director of the Vanderbilt Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy (CPPA) in Nashville, Tennessee, told Fox New Digital about his recent report on professional misconduct.
A new recruit ate a nurse’s apple without that nurse’s permission. “I was between jobs and I was hungry,” the doctor said, according to the report.
“I can’t believe it, a nurse came in [an expletive] Safety report and you have some group of followers who are wondering to share them, said the same doctor, in the report. “It’s incredible.”
Unprofessional behavior of this specialist was revealed during the investigation of the application.
The specialist’s actions ranged from criticizing the nurse in front of the patient, to asking someone in training to “stop asking stupid questions”, to refusing to participate in a “time-out” before the procedure began.
For 25 years, Hickson’s organization has “partnered with hospitals across the U.S., now at more than 200 sites, to conduct research and develop tools and employ 2.5% to 4% of our professional workforce measuring disrespect and threat.” in defining detection and intervention processes to support care outcomes,” Hickson said.
Consequences of behavior
Unprofessional behavior can have a ripple effect on patient care.
According to the Joint Commission, it can also cause psychological stress, job dissatisfaction, encourage workers to call in sick, and lead to high employee turnover.
“As a medical student, I encountered a senior resident who modeled classic student-targeted bullying behaviors.”
“Patients who receive care from physicians who show disrespect to other team members, patients, and families may experience preventable medical and surgical complications and death,” Hickson said.
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Dr. Kelly Liz Stecher is the president and co-founder of Patient Care Heroes, a platform dedicated to telling the stories of healthcare workers who have sacrificed their lives for their profession, advocating change in the culture of medicine.
“This is where medical school starts—the toxic medical culture, the gossip, the bullying, and more,” said Stecher, who is based in Minneapolis.
Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, chief of hematology at the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center, recalls his experience later in training.
“During my hematology/oncology fellowship, two-thirds of my fellows showed signs of burnout or outright depression,” Sekeres said.
“Nothing was done to address the psychological well-being of the trainees.”
“This manifests as anger toward patients or other health care workers, sleep problems, relationship problems, and widespread cynicism,” added Sekeres, who also wrote, “Drugs and the FDA: Safety, Efficacy, and author of the book “public”. Confidence.”
“Nothing was done to address the psychological well-being of the interns,” he recalls. “Since then, many have left patient care and the profession altogether.”
Hixon, of Nashville, still remembers how one of his bosses treated him many years ago.
“As a medical student, I encountered a senior resident who modeled classic student-targeted bullying behaviors,” Hickson said.
“And [this individual] He told us that one day we would thank him for the lessons he taught us.”
He added: “I learned some valuable lessons – but they were about how fearful behavior can threaten team work and contribute to medical errors.”