Like a disease that spreads if left untreated, verbal abuse has the potential to sicken an entire organization, and nurses seem to know this already. Readers of this column have commented online about the "cycle" of bullying and abuse and noted that "cultures which have suffered oppression are highly likely to turn on each other."
Another reader noted that older nurses who engage in verbal abuse are "often disrespected" themselves, adding, "People who are happy and fulfilled don't usually take on bullying" behaviors.
In comments about the previous study, the authors say hospitals should implementmandatory organization-wide programs for all employees about the impact of verbal abuse and other disruptive behaviors, as well as zero-tolerance policies. That recommendation obviously applies here, too. And it goes without saying that it should apply to physicians as much as it applies to nurses.
To learn more about disruptive physicians, join the HealthLeaders Media webcast, Reining in Disruptive Docs: Strategies to Manage Risk and Reduce Turnover on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, at 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET with William "Marty" Martin, MA, MS, MPH, PsyD, CHES and Herdley O. Paolini, PhD, LP.