Healthcare organizations are said to be at more risk for bullying and harassment than other types of industries. Sexual harassment is a boundary violation and a violation of civil rights law. The Joint Commission has recognized the hostile healthcare environment by creating a patient safety standard specifically geared to the “disruptive” behavior among healthcare workers. Research suggests that physicians and nurses are likely to be harassed and bullied by patients and their families, visitors, and co-workers. Physicians are often identified as the perpetrator are not held accountable, and the harassment continues resulting in poor morale, turnover, absenteeism, reduced academic or clinical performance, costly lawsuits, and a decrease in quality patient care. The AMA and many States now require CME units on sexual harassment.
After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:
1. Define sexual harassment as it relates to federal and state laws.
2. Review current research on harassment to and by physicians in healthcare.
3. Identify the effects of harassment on the victim, the work unit, the organization, and patient care.
4. Discuss and define retaliation as it pertains to the workplace environment.
Estimated time to complete this activity is 1 hour.
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