Newtown Square, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/23/2012 -- There is another glitch looming large in the health care system. It is called incivility. “Incivility is the latest, but not the newest, issue to come to the fore in the health care system,” Clelland Green, RHU, CEO, and president of Benepath, Pennsylvania, indicated. “It is not new, but it does seem to be getting worse over time. Medical health professionals hand it out and conversely, put up with it, so it’s a two-way street with a dead end if this keeps escalating.”
Most know incivility to be intimidating, rude, disruptive or unwanted behavior aimed at someone else. It is typically an offensive, hostile or intimidating action that charges the environment in a highly negative manner. It has always been around, but seems to be getting worse. Victims of the potshots taken at them suffer real and distressing symptoms that may include humiliation, stress, depression, anger and an inability to sleep. “Call it what you want, incivility, relational aggression, lateral violence, or call a spade a spade and say that incivility is really bullying, by a slightly nicer name, but not by much,” Green added.
Bullies exist in every walk of life and for those who have the misfortune to run across them, they find themselves on the receiving end of abnormally aggressive actions and behavior that allows the individual to get control and power over others. Bullying exits in the workplace, in groups and in individual interactions. In a medical setting, it may be one nurse bullying another, management bullying a nurse, a nurse bullying a patient and vice versa, and the list goes on.
The hard, cold fact of incivility is that it shreds workplace morale and interferes with patient safety. This type of behavior in a medical setting is far more widespread than we may imagine. The end result of working in this kind of hostile atmosphere is lower productivity, less inclination to take the initiative and fear, anger and stress and an increase in medical malpractice.
The statistics that show that bullying in workplaces across the nation is highly prevalent, with roughly 37 percent affected by it, at least 12 percent who have seen it transpire, 45 percent whose health has been impacted by bullying and a disturbing number of 40 percent who are subjected to it, but do not report it. “As it relates to the medical health profession,” said Green, “the bottom line is civility must be present for there to be professionalism. It is just that simple. Patients do not go to hospital to be subjected to this kind of behavior or attitude. Medical professionals need to get a grip.”
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