Dear ABC. ABC Answers Your Questions.

  1. Linda, on July 6th, 2008 at 2:14 pm Said: Edit Comment

Dear ABC,

Recently I was let go from a per-diem physical therapist assistant position at a nursing home. There where contrived complaints against me like I walk around too much and then I need to speed it up. I was blamed for things that other people did like changing the parameters on a range of motion machine and making more work for other people because i asked them to show me something. I did not recognize the signs and I should have. It leaves me feeling very helpless and not wanting to go out and look for another job because i have the attitude that it is just going to happen again. My boyfriend tells me to buck it up and move on making me feel worse. I noticed that you are a nurse doing home care. Do you think this kind of thing is prevalent in health care? it is terrible, it makes it more difficult to do a good job for the patient because it makes one so paranoid about being attacked verbaly and dragged into the office for the inquisition about supposed shortcomings.Lin


Dear Lin,

Yes, workplace bullying and mobbing is more prevalent in health care and with many of the “helping professions”. Education is another high-risk job category. It is thought that these professions have a higher incidence, because people who choose these professions, are good bait for bullies. “Targets” often have a non-confrontational personality style in which they share a higher than average concern for fairness, justice, and integrity. All of these qualities which bullies detest. Homecare probably has a lower average of bullying and mobbing than other healthcare professions because the majority of the work is done one on one, in individual patient homes, which isn’t as conducive to the dynamics needed, in the building of a bullying and mobbing campaign.

You need to “move on” as your boyfriend suggests but while keeping in mind that your mind also needs time to heal from the emotional abuse you have been sustaining at the hands of your employer. It may seem immature to some, to be upset about the petty complaints your employer lodged against you, but the truth is, trivial fault finding and nit-picking are emotional abuse, and like any abuse, it takes its toll on both your emotional and physical health.

It is true that no matter where you work, or what profession you choose, you’re likely to come across workplace bullying and mobbing. That is a fact of life that every working person needs to know about. We should all know how to recognize it when we see it, then have the courage to name it, “workplace bullying and mobbing”, then together with others, we need to end workplace bullying and mobbing together! ABC

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