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sexual harassment by doctor

I work in an ER and am in constant contact with other nurses, and doctors. since i began approx.

One year ago as a new nurse graduate, I have experienced some uncomfortable remarks, touching and things of that nature that has caused a lot of concern from an emergency room doctor. Since i did not respond to the remarks and did not give this person more to go on, I have experienced some hardships when working directly under this doctor.

He does things like place excessive orders, in a fashion that makes my life more difficult (ordering meds 5-10 mins apart meaning that i make multiple trips to the med room instead of just one or two). He has a bad attitude towards me and seems to do things to make me upset. i haven't said anything to anyone thus far (being a new nurse and fearing that it could mean the end of my job or making my life miserable there) but i can't stand by and let this happen.

What should I do?

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9 Responses to “sexual harassment by doctor”

  1. Marla Says:

    I would report this to my nurse supervisor, ASAP. I can understand your reluctance, but this is definately sexual harassment. It may be that you are not the first or only person this has happened to. For all you know, he may have a history of this and this could be a last straw for him. If nothing else, at least this could be put into the hands of someone who can help you, and they should take this very seriously. Please, report this behavior. If you let him get away with it with you, what about the next nurse? and the next? No one should have to put up with this sort of unprofessional behavior. Good luck to you!

  2. MCKean Says:

    If he sexually harrasses you, think of what sort of bad behavior he may engage in with patients. Report him! If you suffer retaliation, file a law suit and scream your head off. It is your duty as a nurse to keep creeps like this from practicing.

  3. Sylvia Williams Says:

    Unfortunately, this happens alot! There are some nurses who find it flattering when a Doctor ask them out or flirts with them. This can be an awkard place to be. If you give into the doctors advances this is discrediting yourself as an intelligent coworker that deserves respect. Turn him in. Stand your ground. Intimidation is wrong but it happens. It is also a male ego trip for some doctors. It is like “lets play doctor and nurse. This makes nurses look extremely vunlerable and less than intelligent. Nurses need to be strong minded and strong willed. Like I said Turn HIm In. Doctors that do this do not have their minds on their patients, anyway. These type of doctors are the ones with malpractice suits filed against them. Huge reponsibility in taking care of people…it is matter of life and death. Really no time for sexual harressment if the doctor is doing the job he should be doing.

  4. Carl Bishop Says:

    Turn him in, but before you do that document everything that was said, who was there and might have heard and your response to all this. Keep the original and make a copy for your nurse manager. If you do not get results from the nurse manager go up the chain of command. Do not drop this. Talk to the other people working in the ER and see if they have experienced the same thing or saw or heard any of it. When possible when you work with him have other people with you. Your have your rights and this doctor is not untouchable. Stand your ground. The next time he does something continue to document and keep giving the information to your nurse manager. Don’t let this turn you away from nursing. This is not always the way things are going to be. Good luck and I will put you in my prayers.

  5. Anne – nursing prof w/a heart Says:

    Wow-I am SO sorry this has happened to you. This should never ever happen to anyone but unfortunately, I suspect that it is all too common. First, I agree, you need to report him to your supervisor. Do exactly what Carl Bishop says. Keep notes on everything that happens to you and you can file a complaint with your state as well. what he has done is ILLEGAL and he can lose his license for it. I also worry that he has done it to other nurses and patients. I knew of one MD who behaved like this (and orthopedist) who was finally brought to trial for sexually molesting patients. He went to jail and lost his license permanently. The saddest thing is, though, that nurses testified against him at the trial, saying he had behaved inappropriately with them, but they had NEVER brought complaints against him because of fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, patients paid in the end. DO not be afraid! And contact your state nurses’ association for support too. Good luck and please post so we can hear how it worked out for you.

  6. suki Says:

    Did this doctor actually touch you? Especially in an inappropriate way? That is a hands down NO WAY! If you don’t feel comfortable dealing with it yourself go to your supervisor. Then to Human Resources. That is plain not ok. I wrote up a nasty doctor that tried to lightly “slap my hands” in front of a patient. I cannot see how you can get fired. Get just the facts documented. Don’t put up with that. The mean stupid things like ordering drugs in a way that you have to keep going to get them, well that is just called inconvenient. But the touching? NO WAY, not ok.

  7. SecondCareer Says:

    Document, document and try to also get a second person to witness or verify that immediately at or after the time an incident happens that you expressed concern that it was inappropriate. Witnesses who will sign an affidavit are a powerful weapon. Also, try NOT to be alone with that doc, be within eyesight of other staff.

    Keep good records, record your state of mind at the time an incident occurs and don’t be afraid to use the force of law.

  8. nurse an lovin it Says:

    Wow, I too am sorry this happened to you . Write down EVERYTHING that has been said or done to you, no matter how small! Inappropriate is inappropriate and is NOT a accepted form of behaviour. Go threw the chain of command and report, report him! This is not the kind of work environment a nurse should have to work in. Who knows who else this has been done too and it needs to stop. ASAP! Good luck to you and keep up your work as a nurse.

  9. nursingaround Says:

    i can’t comment on the harrassment issue as this is only one side, but you do need to report this, get something in writing. If you didn’t write it or report it, then it didn’t happen.
    I notice a lot of nurses saying that this is terrible, but they really shouldn’t jump to conclusions as they don’t know the full story. I’m not trying to dismiss your problem, but it’s easy to get emotional. Be objective in what you say, see, happens etc. If you really feel this harassed, for your protection, report it.

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