From the schoolyard to the bullpen: Bullies in the workplace

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me—a childhood rhyme for many to show that mean words will not be harmful and will be ignored. Unfortunately bullies exist everywhere from the school yard to healthcare employers. Nurses bully nurses. Nurses have reported being bullied by doctors and even doctors claim to being bullied by their fellow doctors. For many in healthcare, words and actions can be harmful, and in some instances can lead to jury awards in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

In Raess v. Doescher, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld a jury verdict of more than $300,000 for a perfusionist who had been bullied by a surgeon. The surgeon had approached the perfusionist, angry over reports that the perfusionist had reported him to hospital administration for his poor treatment of other perfusionists. The surgeon advanced angrily with clenched fists, beet red and in such a manner that the perfusionist believed he was going to be hit. The surgeon stopped short of throwing a punch but did tell him that he was “history” and “finished.” 
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