Gone Gardening, and Theresa Brown Gets Bullied

Spring has finally made a tentative appearance, so I’m outside communing with nature today.

A couple of thoughts to consider: First, is there a connection between bullying in health care and this?

Also, check out the growing dust up between Theresa Brown (@TheresaBrown), who wrote in the New York Times yesterday decrying the culture of bullying in health care institutions, and the somewhat defensive, hand-wringing reactions of some prominent physician bloggers, whose principal objection seems to be nurses shouldn’t have the temerity to call out physicians who bully them. I’m guessing, incidentally, most nurses will agree with Brown on this.


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  1. #1 by Connie on Tuesday 10 May 2011 - 0027

    I read that article today. I have worked in med-surg for about six years, and sure – some docs are more tempermental and so are some nurses! You know what they say, “Sh!t rolls downhill” – doctor will be cranky with a nurse (or a unit clerk or another doctor or a RT), and in turn the nurse is cranky with the CNA or the volunteer or the unit clerk or the housekeeper… It doesn’t happen everyday, and face it, the job is stressful and really is not for the very thin-skinned individual. But one really needs to draw the line at making comments about another employee in front of a patient. That is never OK, even if it is joking. I think the answer the situation in the article was to approach the Dr privately and say, Hey that was not cool. Even if it WAS her fault, that is not the appropriate way to handle it.

    the only times dr’s and nurses talk about eachother in front of the patient (in my experience) has been the doctor telling the patient, “your nurse will take very good care of you – I know her and she is fabulous!”. Or vice versa. What co-worker would not want to overhear a doctor saying that? And the good ones do.

    Cultivate a good working relationship. If someone is being a booger, call them on it, or report it.

  2. #2 by thenerdynurse on Tuesday 10 May 2011 - 0114

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
    I love her article about Bullying in Nursing and love this one as well!
    And Kevin MD, wow, he’s really sensitive to this one, huh?

  3. #3 by Jenn Jilks on Tuesday 10 May 2011 - 1141

    Peculiar. I think it is on the rise everywhere. CBC has been doing a segment on the civil service bullying/harassment issues. There conclusion is that there is little that can be done, the powersthatbe hide it, and even provide collusion, in that sometimes senior managers cannot be gotten rid of easily. In my case in the schools system, my union wasn’t much help, and they decided that harassment must be based on age or gender or ethnic issues. In my case it was just a woman who was threatened by my being Shop Steward, and confident in my work. I believe that it is just not worth your health. I was off work for a month after my situation.

  4. #4 by L on Tuesday 10 May 2011 - 1816

    A core problem with this is that when doctors assume they can call us by our first names without asking permission and expect us to call them by their title and surname, this makes there’s an imbalance. All to do with employers and servants. The MDs are the lords of the Manor and the rest of us the peasants.

    Sure it’s good to refer to Dr Superdooper by his surname and title in front of the patient, but don’t the rest of us deserve this respect too? And when he calls me by my first name in private then I assume I can call him by his, especially as I’m 20 years older.

    If an MD is rude to me I fill out an incident report, the same as I would for anyone else. Simple as that. They aren’t gods.

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