Bullying In The Workplace

As my friend and fellow pharmacist for the past 17 years, Carl Washburn, Pharm.D. has always stood his ground when it comes to clinical, appropriate, legal and fair pharmacy practice.  Even though Carl has retired, he continues to maintain his pharmacy skills through regular relief work in both the in-patient and out-patient pharmacy setting.  It is our good fortune to have Carl as a guest blogger for AudibleRx.

In my 40 plus years working in health care, I have been both the perpetrator and victim of bullying.  The hospital corporation I worked for spent considerable resources to remove this behavior from its employees, staff and leadership.  This is why I found the recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “disheartening”.  Bullying of any type is bad behavior.  The fact that it was rewarded is even more discouraging. 
 
The recent news stories relating the tragedies to young adults caused by bullying are heartbreaking.  In health care, the results of bullying can affect more than just the victim.  Bullying can affect patient safety.  I remember a discussion of a study, while I was in pharmacy school, where interns and residents were instructed to make erroneous orders and then aggressively challenge anyone that questioned the order.  The findings showed the aggressive behavior would have allowed the error to reach the patient a majority of the time. 

Whether you work in a small community pharmacy, a chain store or in a large health care facility, bullying behavior must be identified and removed.  Only through collaborative, respectful and appropriate communication and behavior between all members of health care, will the best and safest service be given to our patients. 
 
Please read the complete article at the W.S.J. How Workplace Bullies Get Ahead.

I worked in hospital pharmacy from 1969 through 2011 and was the Pharmacy Director of a community hospital for the last few years before I retired in 2011.

Carl Washburn, Pharm. D
Contact at carl.washburn@lacima.us

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