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The bullying culture in medical care

Sociologists have documented a trend of bullying in the hospital by medical professionals.
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    February 26, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When one thinks of "bullying," school hallways and the lunchroom often come to mind. One probably does not think of hospital rooms and urgent care. However, there is a new wave of disrespectful medical professionals, who create what some call a "bullying culture." This, in turn, is leading to poor patent care, sources report.

Bullying behavior in the hospital can be expressed in several different ways. One way is in the mistreatment of medical students and other subordinates. In fact, a national study that is noted in has confirmed that a majority of medical students feel that they were bullied in some form throughout their medical training. However, the problem goes beyond the belittling remarks directed to doctors-in-making. For example, nurses are frequently scolded for not being in two places at once.

Many of these bullying instances relate to mood; however, such attitudes in the medical field are not welcome. The medical environment is already a high-pressured place. When it comes to the health and the wellbeing of patients, deprecating personalities should be left at the door. The medical field should embody a sense of confidence and professionalism. However, when caregivers are yelling at one another, this can lead to serious medical errors.


The most common exercise of hospital bullying is in the form of "microaggressions." This practice involves the subtle or inadvertent shaming of employees, which can certainly destabilize one's confidence. What is an example of a microaggression? It might be calling someone by one's rank instead of his or her actual name. It can also involve excessive sarcasm and public shaming. In the end, these actions help create a field of insure professionals.

Moreover, insecurities can lead to troubled outcomes for patients. For example, when an attending physician bullies his or her inferiors, this may discourage residents and other staff from openly discussing patients' issues. Ultimately, this can lead to an egregious medical error.

The bullying culture can prosper, too. It creates the perception that tough love will help whip medical professionals into shape. However, data suggests otherwise. In fact, insecurities that result from such behavior foster mistakes and near misses. Specifically, a 2013 study from the United Kingdom has found that 25 percent of doctors and surgeons and 33 percent of nurses said bullying has resulted in poor practicing behavior, which affects patient outcomes.

In the end, a hostile hospital environment can lead to serious medical issues. Physicians and medical staff should check their egos and help ensure patients are properly cared for. If a poor hospital environment resulted in your injury, speak with a medical malpractice attorney in your area.

Article provided by Hampton & King
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