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Sexual Harassment In Nursing: What Medical Professionals Need To Know


The work environment is supposed to be a professional place, but that is not always the case. A lot of stuff happens in the workplace. Sure, nurses take care of patients, but they also instigate or fall victim to a lot of harassment as well.

Harassment can happen in a lot of ways in a medical office or hospital. A nurse may use their body to trap or block another co-worker from moving. Someone may discuss, in detail, their sexual escapade with a co-worker. A nurse may circulate a nude photo of the handsome doctor. A nurse may repeatedly harass a co-worker about going on a date.

While harassment often occurs between nurses and patients, it happens a lot between co-workers as well. This behavior is often dismissed. Workers may claim they are simply joking around with each other, but the reality is that sexual harassment is a serious issue. It can cause a person to be fired from their job. They may also lose their license.

Therefore, it’s important for nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals to clearly understand what sexual harassment is so they can avoid engaging in it. Sexual harassment is defined several ways:

  • Visual conduct. This includes displays of sexually suggestive pictures, staring at someone, or making sexual gestures.
  • Verbal conduct. This includes verbal abuse of a sexual nature, slurs or jokes, and graphic verbal comments about a person’s body.
  • Physical contact. This includes touching and assault, as well as impeding another person’s movement from an area.

Nursing leaders have an obligation to provide a harassment-free work environment. It is their responsibility to stop harassing behaviors. When a nurse issues a sexual harassment complaint against another employee, the organization must act quickly to listen to the victim and provide a thorough investigation.  It may be necessary to remove the perpetrator from the department temporarily, depending on the allegations. Local authorities may also need to be notified.

There are actions nurses can take when faced with harassment by colleagues. They should be direct with the perpetrators to let them know that the behavior is making them uncomfortable and should stop. Nurses should also report the harassment to their supervisors so they can handle the situation. They may also call a Compliance Hotline to report sexual harassment.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Nursing License Lawyer 

Sexual harassment does not just occur between nurses and patients. Nurses may engage in sexual harassment with other nurses or they may be victims when harassed by doctors or other medical professionals.

If your license is at risk due to sexual harassment or other conduct, seek legal help from a Tampa nursing license lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. I work hard to handle administrative and disciplinary issues with licenses. Let’s resolve your matter as efficiently as possible. Call (813) 968-6633 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation.