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Does sexual harassment occur in health care?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2021 | Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can happen in any industry and even medical professionals may experience this kind of treatment. People may not always take action if they do not understand the options that are available to them.

According to U.S. News and World Report, a 2018 report on sexual harassment among medical professionals found that about 10% of practitioners have been subject to some form of harassment at work. These practitioners include doctors, physician assistants and nurses. Both male and female professionals may experience harassment. Most women usually report harassment from a male colleague, while men may experience this treatment from both male and female colleagues.

Forms of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment in health care may take several different forms. A colleague may make sexual comments or touch other people without permission. Other people may intentionally step inside someone else’s body space. In some situations, professionals have experienced nonconsensual sexual contact.

Identity of harassers

Many different people may commit sexual harassment. Sometimes, physicians may harass their colleagues. Patients and administrators can also be a source of harassment. People may receive this treatment from their supervisors or from someone at the same professional level. Additionally, people may experience harassment from several colleagues simultaneously.

Rates of reporting

Medical professionals do not always report this treatment. Many people worry that their colleagues and supervisors will not believe them. Others think that they may experience retaliation. In some situations, people do not report harassment because they think that their supervisor would refuse to take action.

If people know that they are experiencing sexual harassment at work, they should take action. People may want to look into their clinic’s procedures for reporting harassment. They also may want to document each incident so that they have a written record of their experiences.

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