Monday, September 15, 2008

Articles of Interest

In July, of this year, the Joint Commission issued a Sentinel Event Alert that addresses "intimidating and disruptive behaviors" in the health care workplace. Wow! This is a biggie... and I'm not being sarcastic.

Many clinical settings are rife with abuse, intimidation and bullying. Trust me on this one... I spent many years working in a large hospital. During that period, I witnessed a lot of this and spent my share of time on the receiving end of it. To make matters even worse, many workplaces do nothing to encourage the reporting of such behaviors. Don't get me wrong; you can report it. It's just that nothing will be done to correct the situation. It's all too often a "just shut up and take it" kind of attitude.

Medscape Nurses blog submitted a short post on the Sentinel Event Alert earlier this month. I really want you to take a look at the comments. This subject will, no doubt, inspire a lot of passion in the coming months or even years.

This next article also comes from
Medscape Nurses titled, "Who Tells a Patient's Family That Their Loved One is Dying?". While this used to be a bone of contention when I worked in the ICU, I had no idea that this issue would follow me into the area of hospice. Imagine going to the hospital, in order to do a hospice consult with a family, only to find out that no one has told them that their loved one is dying. Being chased out of the room by a mob with torches and pitchforks is just downright... awkward.


Buck said...

It's nice someone is taking note of this. Of course, in a surgical setting it is often the surgeons who do most of the bullying. Many years ago I worked with a particularly foul surgeon and had the misfortune to have this gentleman get upset with a scrub student (this was a teaching hospital). He decided to show his displeasure by filling a bulb syringe with blood (we were doing a AV Fistula) and spraying me and the student I was overseeing in the face. I found out later, by chance, that the patient had MRSA. Interestingly, when I went in for transplant and had my nose swabbed I was positive for MRSA. No wonder after that.

I was going to file a formal complaint and after finding out about the MRSA, a criminal assault charge but was told by my Nurse manager if I did I could kiss my job goodbye. In her words "I can't fire you for that, but I can fire you for something else."

This surgeon had a history of physical violence. He'd thrown scalpels at people, shoved nurses and even other doctors, and threatened to beat up people who angered or inconvenienced him.

One weekend he wanted to do a minor case and was told he might be bumped because of an incoming trauma. He actually parked his truck on the chopper pad so the helicopter couldn't land and "bump" his case. He was a maniac. Yet, nothing was ever done about him. He was suspended briefly for the truck stunt but that was it. Any nurse who dared try to file a formal report was quickly told he/she would be out of work or the report was "lost" in the shuffle. Sad.

dethmama said...

@ Buck...

Absolutely horrifying!!!

The work environment that ignores and even supports behavior like this is just as sick and twisted as the offender.