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There is no question that working in any sort of health care facility — hospital, clinic, pharmacy, etc. — can prove to be incredibly stressful. This is largely because medical professionals must deal with everything from sizeable patient loads and nerve-wracking scenarios to severe time constraints and seemingly endless paperwork. Unfortunately, these tense atmospheres often cause these medical professionals to become curt, rude or even abusive toward their colleagues.
In fact, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit, recently released the results of a survey of 4,884 medical professionals — nurses, pharmacists, physicians and quality/risk management consultants — to gauge the extent to which bullying, intimidation and other types of disrespectful behavior were present in the health care workforce.
What did they discover?
Somewhat surprisingly, the ISMP survey revealed that there is a shocking amount of disrespectful behavior taking place between medical professionals:
Interestingly, the survey also determined that this negative behavior wasn’t just confined to physicians, but rather was practiced by all types of medical professionals. Furthermore, it also determined that this disrespectful behavior wasn’t confined to just a few people in workplaces, but rather was systemic in many health care facilities.
What does all this mean for you, the potential patient?
Unfortunately, the presence of negative behavior can seriously compromise your health and safety as a patient. If you don’t believe it, consider the ISMP survey’s findings on the impact of this negative behavior on patient safety:
It’s truly astonishing to think that this level of dysfunction can exist in so many health care facilities. These are not just traditional office settings, but places where lives are on the line. Here’s hoping that more facilities view this report as a call to action and take the necessary steps to stop negative behavior once and for all.
Source: The Institute for Safe Medication Practices, “Intimidation still a problem in hospital workplace, ISMP survey shows,” Oct. 3, 2013