Workplace Wrangles: When Healthcare Colleagues Collide

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Mar 18, 2024 | 0 Comments

Given the demands of their high-stakes and fast-paced environments, nurses and doctors must make countless vital decisions while sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, and overworked. While medical professionals share the goal of providing excellent patient care, perspectives, communication breakdowns, and workload pressures can lead to ongoing arguments among colleagues. But when do arguments go too far, and when can nurses or doctors face misconduct allegations for these disputes?

If you are a medical professional facing possible misconduct allegations due to arguments with colleagues, contact the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team by calling 888-535-3686 or using our online contact form.

The Tension Behind Workplace Arguments

Most doctors and nurses enter the profession because they genuinely want to care for others and make a difference. These same professionals would likely lie if they didn't admit to feeding off the chaotic environment and the thrill of solving the impossible. In other words, medical practice tends to curate strong personalities into even stronger personalities, sometimes making “meetings of the minds'' amongst colleagues seem impossible. The stress of the environment, long hours, intense workload, and the need to make fast decisions as a team can heighten an already tense environment. While different communication styles, personalities, and preferences can all play a role in antagonizing colleagues, medical professionals should be careful not to cross the line of decency and respect.

Are Arguments Considered Misconduct?

Mere quarrels, misunderstandings, or personality differences will likely not rise to the level of misconduct that can threaten a medicine or nursing license. However, misconduct allegations may be on the line when a medical professional intentionally provokes colleagues or is “the aggressor” in a workplace dispute. The American Medical Association notes this distinction as the difference between disruptive behavior and criticism offered in good faith. The AMA further explains that good faith criticism is characterized as being shown to improve patient care - a critical thought. The next time nurses or doctors are dragged into workplace quarrels, they should ask themselves, “Is this argument about pride or the patient?”

Lateral Violence

When conduct is prideful or disruptive, lateral violence may be brewing amongst colleagues. Lateral violence refers to disruptive and harmful violence, language, threats, etc., that exist between colleagues. Lateral violence can occur between two people, such as a nurse and a doctor, or between entire staffing groups, such as heightened tensions between nurses and residents. While lateral violence can be a cancerous condition to the functionality of any work environment, in the medical field, the rippling effects of the dysfunction are most felt by the patients, who can be deeply affected by the lack of communication and reduced collaboration.

In some cases, misunderstandings, disputes, and even vendettas can escalate, and you may be unfairly accused of professional misconduct. If so, the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team can help. Not only can we craft a strategic defense that examines the entire situation in dispute, but we can also strive to ensure that you are treated fairly and equitably under the law by your state's medical or nursing board.

Professional Misconduct Attorney for Nurses and Doctors

Conflicts with colleagues don't need to end your medical career. Our Professional License Defense Team has experience navigating workplace disputes for medical professionals nationwide. Contact the Lento Law Firm today for a free consultation by calling 888-535-3686 or filling out our contact form.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento has unparalleled experience fighting for the futures of his professional clients nationwide. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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