Medical professionals are held to a high standard. Whether you go in for your yearly checkup or you are admitted to the hospital for a serious illness, you expect your doctors and nurses to treat you competently and safely. Unfortunately, you and other Oregon residents could possibly be harmed by a pervasive problem in the medical industry – workplace bullying.

You may assume that most people left bullying behind after they were finished with junior high or high school, but this is sadly not the case. As the Journal of Emergency Medical Services explains, workplace bullying occurs in the healthcare profession more than any other industry. Doctors and nurses work in a high-pressure environment where a pecking order is commonly part of the culture. Medical professionals can be stressed out, competitive and sleep-deprived. As such, the environment may be ripe for bullying.

What exactly is healthcare bullying, you may ask? Doctors and nurses may exclude new members of staff or gossip about them; some may sabotage the work of others to take credit for their work or make their rivals look bad; they may assign insulting or meaningless tasks to co-workers they don’t like; a bullying superior or co-worker may yell, threaten or intimidate other members of staff.

Not surprisingly, working in an environment with constant bullying can lead to mistakes, which may be devastating if you rely on your healthcare staff for an accurate diagnosis, quality treatment or a precise dosage of medication. Since this can be a complicated topic, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.