Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sexual Harassment in the Medical Arena

Sexual harassment happens everywhere. The common form of sexual harassment is when an employer or superior in employment sexually harasses a subordinate. In the work place, there are always superiors and a great number of subordinates.

Sexual harassment does not only happen in commercial, industrial or business establishments. This civil wrong or crime can also happen within service provider establishments like hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities.

Sexual harassment cases in these establishments may involve top ranking medical practitioners, from chief doctors, to regular doctors and residents, down to the nurses and nurses’ aids, other non medical staffs and even to patients.

However, a study showed that nurses are the common victims of these sexual harassments in hospitals. The lady nurses are the common targets among the nurses who gets sexually harassed on a daily basis. Surprisingly, even patients are perpetrators of sexual harassment against the nurses.

As you know, there are two types of sexual harassment, you do not need to be a superior of the person harassed to be liable for sexual harassment. For patients or other employees of equal rank to the nurses, sexual harassment can be committed through actions or verbal harassment by maligning or throwing sexist comments to demean the person harassed. The sexual harasser need not be fueled by sexual attraction to the person being sexually harassed. It is enough that the person to whom the acts or words are directed are maligned or harassed and does not accede or find the act or deed to be abhorrent.

If you are a patient in a hospital, you should watch your jokes or innuendos towards nurses. You might find somebody who is firm in his or her conviction and file a case against you for sexual harassment. Remember, nurses and other medical help providers and their assistants are there to help and protect you. The least you can do is be civil and proper otherwise, instead of relieving yourself of your illness, you might find yourself with more headaches and in another forum not with needles and rest beds but with gavels and iron bars.