Bullying In Healthcare

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Organizational Disconnect: The Real Cost of Workplace Bullying in Healthcare
Suzanne Johnston
Loyola University

Abstract While workplace bullying in healthcare is being recognized worldwide, there still exists a code of silence in many organizations throughout the United States. Inaction by an employee who witnesses a co-worker being abused tends to perpetuate the underreporting of such a costly phenomenon. A bullying culture within an organization can be costly, not only for the victim, but also for the health and welfare of other employees and the delivery of patient care (Gaffney, DeMarco, Hofmeyer, Vessey & Budin, 2012). The costs of bullying are injurious to an organization’s
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Bullying behaviors can be described as a pattern of deliberate destructive demeaning of co-workers with the sole intention to hurt the victim. Salin (2003) defined workplace bullying “as repeated and persistent negative acts toward one or more individuals, which involve a perceived power imbalance and create a hostile work environment” (pg.1214). In many cases bullying in the workplace is implicitly condoned by an organizations leadership, which leads to the creation of a toxic work environment that with time decreases individual and group commitment within the organization (Vega & Comer,…show more content…
The impact of disruptive behavior can have detrimental effects within the entire culture of an organization (Olender-Russo, 2009). In an increasingly competitive environment such as healthcare, the main focus of the organization should be directed to quality and safety, not only of the patients that they serve, but also the employee population. Healthcare organizations are accountable to regulatory bodies that govern the security and safety of healthcare consumers. Failure to meet safety requirements by failing to address bullying behaviors among employees can be costly not only in the measure of financial loss, but also as a result of loss of public confidence in the healthcare delivered by their organization (Studer Group & Vanderbilt Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy, 2009). Reports of disruptive behavior and bullying with disturbing outcomes are well documented among healthcare professionals. These reports attest that working in a chaotic environment creates an unhealthy workplace for nurses, nursing students, patients as well as the public. In this type of work environment the stress level is usually high, job satisfaction decreases, and unwelcomed clinical outcomes take place such as; increased medical errors, and decreased focus and judgment

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