Irate, distraught, or possibly impaired patients and close relations have been known to lash out at the very people trying to render care in high-stress situations in hospitals and urgent care centers. That’s never ok, obviously, but of even greater concern is how often healthcare workers are subjected to violence or other forms of abuse from their own colleagues. According to a report recently published by Medscape, 44% of physicians say they’ve witnessed other providers act “physically aggressive” toward other clinicians, other staff members, and even patients within the past 5 years. Interestingly, while 86% said they’d seen colleagues “bullying or harassing” other clinicians and staff, a nearly identical percentage of participants (85%) denied having “behaved poorly” within the past year. Whether that’s due to poor self-awareness or a small minority being responsible for such behavior, it’s incumbent upon every member of the urgent care community to help ensure that the urgent care center is a safe environment for workers and patients alike. Failing to do so is not only unacceptable, but leaves the operation at risk for high turnover, litigation, and poor patient outcomes. A couple of articles available in the JUCM archive, Workplace Bullying and Its Costs to the Urgent Care Operation and Dealing with and Preventing a Hostile Work Environment in Urgent Care, may be helpful in assessing how your urgent care center is doing in this regard.
Healthcare Can Be a Dangerous Work Environment—and Too Often the Threat Is from a Coworker