Bullying in the Profession

This is not a well researched subject in our profession, but work is currently underway to research how individuals are affected.  I would encourage you to take part in the Vetsurgeon.org survey if you are a UK based veterinary surgeon, nurse, practice manager who has experienced bullying within the last 12 months.  October is National Bullying Prevention Month – here are some great TED talks about bullying and how to grow and overcome through it.

“Over the years, VetSurgeon.org and VetNurse.co.uk have heard many anecdotal stories of both veterinary surgeons and nurses being bullied by colleagues in practice.

The aim of this survey is to quantify if this type of behaviour is widespread in UK veterinary profession. Nothing more. If the survey reveals a significant incidence, then it is our hope that – by getting it out in the open – it will be a catalyst for positive change.

It is important to note that we are not talking here about isolated incidents of what might be termed ‘bad’ behaviour that inevitably occur in small teams working under high pressure, but REPEATED incidents of behaviour, instigated by the perpetrator, which seem SOLELY DESIGNED to cause physical or emotional hurt.

What counts as ‘bullying’ is obviously hugely subjective. So for the purposes of this survey, we have used examples of behaviour that would be hard to justify under any circumstances.

Please think long and hard before reporting ‘bad’ or ‘bullying’ behaviour in this survey. We can all be hurt by remarks made during a disagreement, that’s normal. It’s not bullying unless it’s repeated and you genuinely feel is designed to cause distress.

There is no opportunity here to report the name of the perpetrator or the practice, so wrongly reporting bullying behaviour in this survey serves no purpose. Indeed, to do so would be to do an injustice to those who really are being bullied.

For obvious reasons, this survey is ABSOLUTELY CONFIDENTIAL unless you say otherwise, in writing. The data gathered will be used only in aggregate, except with your prior written permission. To that end, it is helpful if you could give your name and email address, but this too is optional. If you don’t give contact details, or in the absence of written permission, any long answers you give will remain completely confidential.”

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