Kathleen Bartholomew: Standing Up to Physician Bad Behavior

In our annual HealthLeaders 20, we profile individuals who are changing healthcare for the better. Some are longtime industry fixtures; others would clearly be considered outsiders. Some are revered; others would not win many popularity contests. All of them are playing a crucial role in making the healthcare industry better. This is Kathleen Bartholomew's story.

5 comments on "Kathleen Bartholomew: Standing Up to Physician Bad Behavior"
Janet Eckhart, EdD, MSN, RN (11/13/2011 at 10:25 AM)

It is time that all of us acknowledge that whatever name we choose to give this ugly cancer on our profession (bullying, eating our young, lateral violence)is thriving in our academic center as well as the workplace. We ingrain this unspoken behavior in the earliest stages of developing our nursing: the educational programs. It starts with how faculty interact with each other and the students and spreads to how students interact with each other. We are what we teach. So is there any wonder when these young nurses enter the work force, they have novice experience with these undo forces and encounter the seasoned nurses who have refined the skills for bullying and "eating our young". We operate on the belief system of new graduates having to run the gauntlet, taking their beating/pay their dues before they can be assimilated into the sisterhood/brotherhood of nursing. The same holds true for any new member of the team. It is long overdue for those good nurses to take a stand for what is the ethical way to behave and conduct ourselves as professionals. Evil or bad practices are allowed to flourish because good people turn a blind eye and do nothing.
Shannon Buckingham (8/3/2011 at 12:37 AM)

Thank GOD! somebody put this issue on the map and gave it a name! I have been a victim as well. But it was always so hard to report since the behavior is/was so passive-aggressive. The complainer always had the complaint thrown back in her face as if she was the problem,I too, have tried to identify/stop this terrible behavior but as you can imagine, it's a very difficult task with no help o suppot.At least now we have a starting point. I used to tell my husband, "You'd be surpeised at how Vicious!! nurses can be to one another when the general public thinks we are just sweet little angels of mercy" when in reality, we can be absolute DEVILS!! to each other
Ava Madison (12/20/2010 at 9:25 AM)

Dear Ms. Bartholomew, Our family just recently experienced a nightmarish experience at a leading Hospital, that resulted in the senseless death of a baby. I turned this in to management before the baby was cold. They accept no fault. I have turned it into every entity ( The Joint Commission, All State entities ect.) that I thought could do something about this to make sure no other family experiences this tragedy and no other baby senselessly losses it's life. everyone that we have told what happened looks at us in horror. It is about the most egregious sitution I have ever heard about. I would like to talk to you about it. Thank you and Merry Christmas.
Adrienne Falk (12/13/2010 at 2:23 PM)

After being an active RN for 27 years I have seen and heard a lot of things no human should ever have see or hear and tolerate. I think that part of the problem with this bullying also begins when new grads come out of medical school and the wiser "mentors" feel as if the new kids on the block need to pay their dues, so to speak. Instead of teaching kindness and caring these mentors feel it is their jobs to harass and ridicule all in the name of building character. I've seen it time and time again where the intern or resident on night call is petrified to have to phone an attending at home at 2:00am to seek orders from the attending or to give report only to have to stand and be belittled and antagonized all in the name of "character building". No wonder the rates for suicide, divorce, drug and alcohol abuse are the highest in the medical progession..congratulations to bringing focus to this serious issue.
kit (12/10/2010 at 4:37 PM)

KB, Do you think that we need midlevels to help hospitalists? In this way hospitals would have middle managers that routinely attend to challenging behavior in MDs & RNs. I support that hospitalist/ midlevel model because it provides a consistent clinical management team. That consistency can translate objectives into action more readily.


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