Bullying in the Workplace: Immature Occurrence, or Symptom of Something Worse?

The noble profession of healthcare; where the work started off from compassion and spirit of alleviating others’ suffering.

It is however, very unfortunate that physicians and nurses are not spared from the issue of bullying. We tend to think that bullying only occurs in schools, and are surprised to hear that it also happens in immature settings.

Bullying is a form of directing the bullies’ dissatisfaction inward or towards each other, themselves, and towards those who are less powerful and influential than themselves.

Examples of bullying in the workplace include being spoken in a belittling manner or being lambasted by the older generation for being weak and spoilt.

Studies show that Asian healthcare workers report the largest quantity of workplace-related bullying. The study was carried out in Singapore, showing abuse by nurse managers and colleagues. It also implies that 70% of the staff choose not to report workplace incidents, suggesting that the number of bullying cases might be even higher.

Bullying cases may not be always obvious. It might not be someone yelling at a poor junior nurse in the OT in front of everyone. Shaming, spreading malicious rumors about a co-worker still is bullying, and so are refraining from promotions or the right to take leave.

Why it happens

As previously mentioned, bullying not only happens at immature settings such as in schools, but also at workplaces all the way up to the higher echelons. A stressful environment, poor working conditions and poor leadership are prime vectors for bullying cases in the workplace.

The perpetrators involved in these cases are usually the ones in power. They exercise their power over helpless individuals, humiliating and belittling them in order to make them feel superior. They are usually authoritative, and oppressive in behavior.

There is also a pattern in the victims of such bullying. Doctors and nurses below the age of 30 reported to be more likely to experience workplace bullying. This is due to their position in the workforce- they are generally the lowest tier amongst everyone else, and are prime candidates to be targeted by perpetrators wanting to flex their authority without much of a pushback.

Another study conducted in Asia showed that nurses with high levels of anxiety were almost five times more likely to experience verbal abuse. Because they are by nature unsure of themselves, they do not have the mental standing to push away from bullies’ abuse. Other personality types that are highly associated with bullying are those who are inexperienced, less assertive with their work, lower confidence, and have vulnerable personalities.

Effects

Decline in productivity and effectiveness of care

The physical and emotional health of the victims decreases, which ultimately leads to worse quality of care for patients.

Victims report headaches, sleeping disorders, and medical errors done, which in turn leads to an increase in absenteeism. An increase in absenteeism due to health issues leads to understaffing of a healthcare institution.

Incur costs

Lower morale from victims results in a higher employee turnover rate. This is costly towards the institution; it is far more expensive to constantly replace employees compared to keeping them and increasing their pay year after year. It just doesn’t make much financial sense.

Higher intetion to quit the job leads to career burnouts whuch are much earlier than normal. Impacting non-workplace relationships as well.

Death

When nurse managers or MOs abuse their co-workers by refusing their right to leave, catastrophic results follow. Malaysian newspaper “The Star” reported in May that concerns have been rising about road accidents among tired and overworked doctors. Not too long ago a houseman in Kota Bharu Hospital hit a cow on the way home and died. Nurul Huda Ahmad, a paediatrician in training, died in a motor vehicle accident after nearly 33 hours on duty.

Ways to Stop It

It is not enough to simply tell the staff to “just stop the bullying.” The superiors of the workplace have to encourage their staff to speak out and report any instances or cases immediately. In addition to promoting a safe environment where employees can do so, employers must train effective communication skills to promote reporting as being viewed as an acceptable and necessary behavior.

Moreover, the training provided must encompass business etiquette that touches upon cultural sensitivity practices, and educate the workforce on negative working behaviors. Sometimes, the bullies may not even know about what they’re doing, until pointed out to them.

In the case of management, policies set in place creates a code of conduct to stop these cases. It is important to enforce it consistently for all staff members. Document any violations. This mitigate behaviors like persistent criticism that has no basis.

The way forwards

The act of bullying in a healthcare settings must not and cannot be left to fester. It creates a lot of damage and losses for both the institution and the people working in them. Most of all, the impact on patient’s safety is hit the hardest.

Patients place their utmost trust in the medical world to help them recover and lead productive lives again. Compromised care can deal potential harm in patients; it can mean the difference between a sound mind and a vegetative state, a living patient or a dead one.

If the medical field is to become the bastion of healing and wellness, then it must address this recalcitrant issue and not let it grow like an unwanted tumor, damaging the whole system in the process.



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 A few weeks back Malaysians were shocked to hear of a man  impersonating a medical officer at a hospital  in Alor Setar. What was impressive was that the man kept the act up for about a year before authorities caught him! 

 There have been many cases of people impersonating doctors or surgeons for all kinds of reasons. These are some of the most interesting throughout recent history. 

 1. Kristina Ross 

   

  Fake profession : Plastic Surgeon 

 Kristina Ross frequented bars and pubs, claiming to be a plastic surgeon. She’d approach unsuspecting women, sweet-talk them and get them to know about her “private practice.” Under the guise of a plastic surgeon, she would conduct “breast examinations” on these women, and have them contact her number. 

 Her years of fake activities was brought to a halt when two recipients of her “free breast examinations” contacted the number Ross gave. The number belonged to a real plastic surgery clinic, but had no surgeon that went by the name of Kristina Ross. Their suspicions of the phony surgeon grew, so they called the police. 

 The authorities launched an investigated, and arrested Ross sometime later. But that’s not the last part of the story; upon arrest, it was discovered that she was actually a transgender man who changed his sex. 

 Bottomline: don’t subjugate yourselves to medical exams in non-clinical settings. 

 2. Francisco Rendon 

   

  Fake profession : Dentist 

 Rendon was able to practice his own twisted brand of dentistry for about 16 months before the police finally caught on. 

 His dental clinic was situated between two automobile workshops. His patients grew wary of his dental credentials as they had to sit in a leather office seat instead of a reclining chair. 

 Hygiene was not maintained well; Rendon made his patients spit into a trash can rather than a proper sink. He used unlicensed tools, including a tool which purpose was to polish cars on his patients. 

 When the authorities came to his “office” to arrest him for practicing without a license, he still had many patients in the waiting room. 

 3. Keith Allen Barton 

   

  Fake profession : Doctor 

 This lying physician claimed that he could cure serious diseases like HIV and cancer. He claimed he could “stop the diseases before they spread” and “nip it off from the bud.” He spread lies about the pharmaceutical industry, propagating the myth that corporations were hiding the real cure to those diseases. 

 In reality, what he did was charge his patients exorbitant fees for his homemade cures. Most of his remedies were made of cheap ingredients and did nothing to improve patients’ conditions. Sometimes he even made it worse. 

 He shares the same name as a registered doctor in California, and used this fact to swerve past the authorities. He was finally arrested under charges of identity theft and grand theft. 

 4. William Hamman 

   

  Fake profession : Cardiologist and Medical Speaker 

 Everybody liked him; he flew commercial planes for a living, and was also a cardiologist with 15 years of experience at the side. He frequently published papers in academic journals. He went around delivering lectures at universities and Cardiology seminars. 

 One day he submitted an early draft to a university committee that oversaw publication for their medical journal. One staff member spotted a glaring flaw in the otherwise impeccable paper; he had no M.D. (medical doctor) qualification. 

 What makes Hamman so interesting is that his academic achievements as a fake cardiologist were particularly impressive. His focus was on team-based efforts and how to get cardiology teams to work better together to improve outcomes. It had real academic weight to it. 

 5. William Bailey 

   

  Fake profession : Doctor 

 Bailey was an eccentric man. Being born in the late 1800s, when radioactivity was still a poorly understood science, he was obsessed in marketing the health benefits of consuming radioactive substances for the masses. 

 In 1918, he released Radithor; a tonic that he claimed could cure diseases and restore health by stimulating the endocrine glands. Of course, there was no scientific basis to this. Radithor was made by adding radium crystals into water. It gave off an emission of 1 microcurie per mole of Ra. 

 Despite not being proven to be effective, the public lapped up Bailey’s bogus claims of the healing properties of Radithor. Eben Byers, a young Pennsylvanian competitive golf player, was urged to take the irradiated substance after a consultation with his doctor. He was suffering from pains in his side; so he bought and drank Radithor on a daily basis. 

 Byers died in 1932. He had holes in his skull due to radiation poisoning; his jaw even fell off as it degenerated. He had to be buried in a lead coffin to contain the radioactivity from his body. 

 Bailey died after the Second World War, after having suffered from multiple cancers and poisoning. 

 
 Source: 

 
	  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1330725/Kristina-Ross-pretended-plastic-surgeon-conduct-bar-room-breast-exams.html  
	  http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/francisco-rendon-fake-dentistry-charges-91216374.html  
	  http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Phony-Doctor-Keith-Barton-Claimed-He-Could-Cure-HIV-Cancer-DA-186240712.html  
	  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/fake-cardiologist-william-hamman-duped-real-doctors/story?id=12395288  
	  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radithor

Top 5 Fake Medical Practitioners

A few weeks back Malaysians were shocked to hear of a man impersonating a medical officer at a hospital in Alor Setar. What was impressive was that the man kept the act up for about a year before authorities caught him! There have been...

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 Résumé’s (also known as CVs) are great. They sumarize your experiences onto a few pages so your employer can quickly get a sense of who you are before hiring you. However, employers have to go through a lot of résumés in their search for a potential hire, so making a great résumé can result in a good first impression. 

 Traditionally, résumés have been blocky, information-dense pieces of paper that you send out to employers you’re checking out. With the advancements in personal computing, software and printing, people have been more and more creative with how they craft their résumé’s. 

 The more traditional approach can look more professional and neat, but a creative approach can often help you stand out from the crowd. Choose a method that best presents you in a positive light. 

 Before you write your résumé 

 Before you write down your résumé, sit down and take note of what you’ve done. Any interesting projects taken? Achievements? List it down. 

 Also verify the dates of your education background. It can be easy to forget, especially if you’ve left your academic studies for a long time. Also try and find out the full course or programme names of your certificates, degrees, doctorates. 

 Doing great things lead to a great résumé. Take up as many opportunities as possible that can be put on a résumé, like volunteer work, teaching, skills training, etc. 

 The traditional approach 

 Easy way: Use a predefined template from Word, Pages, or Docs. 

  Tools needed: A PC, tablet, or smartphone.  

 This is as simple as it gets: 

 
	 Open the word processor, and select from the list of templates given. 
	 You can add, remove, or move around certain sections which do not pertain to you. 
	 For example, for a fresh graduate, your education background would come above your work experience because the former is more important at that stage of life. Vice versa for those already working. 
	 Want more templates? Check out  https://r  ésumégenius.com/résumé-templates . 
 

 Normal way: Build it from scratch. 

  Tools needed: PC, tablet, smartphone. Word editing software needed.  

 Building your résumé from scratch allows you to customize every single aspect of that you can present to your future employer. 

 Start by writing down your info. Be concise, truthful, and accurate. 

 Then  add your work experience , or educational background. As previously mentioned, this depends on whether you’re still studying or have already worked. Put it in reverse-chonological order; meaning the latest job first, and the first job last. Same with education. 

  Add in your skills.  It helps employers a lot if you could put in the degree of proficiency. To keep it simple, just rate it from 1-5. For example, ANSYS = ⅘ , SolidWorks = ⅗, verbal communication ⅗, and so on. Some skills to add include software (ANSYS, SPSS), or equipment handling (telemetry, ECG, cardiographs). 

  Don’t forget to add in your language ability.  When working in sectors like healthcare, where you deal with a diverse set of people (especially in multi-cultural Malaysia!) it helps to be bi- or trilingual. Employers love that. 

 Now that you’ve added all you have to add, start by styling the text appropriately. A good rule to follow is to enlarge each point by a few titles, then bold it, so the reader can quickly skim through your résumé. 

  Ensure there is enough spacing.  Think of whitespace as breathing room. You want your text to be able to breathe in order to be legible. A cramped document is not fun to read. 

 Add in the headers and footers. A good use of headers would be your  name and contact number , in 9-pt font. Employers often put your résumé in a stack, and putting something to identify you there would help a great deal. You can put a page number on the footer for continuity purposes. 

 View over the entire document. Ensure the margins are properly aligned. Is the font legible? Clear? Then head over to save and print it out. You’re done! 

 The creative approach 

 With easy application processes from job portals like MIMS Career, employers now are as equally likely to read your résumé in a digital format, on a screen. 

 This allows for some creativity, as current screens can now reproduce millions of colors, in different shapes and sizes. 

 Remember not to overdo a creative design; keep it subtle, keep it clean, and keep the information legible. 

 Easy way: Use an online résumé builder. 

  Tools needed: PC, with keyboard and mouse recommended. An internet connection is important.  

 My favorite résumé builder is, by far,  Novorésumé . 

 Very intuitive controls. A good degree of customization available. 

 Their presets are killer design. They’ve matched out complementary colors in each of their templates so you don’t have to. They’re all subtle, yet sophisticated. Clean, yet intricate. 

 It’s also multi-lingual, so you can craft your Bahasa Malaysia résumé in it as well. 

 Have a look at Elon Musk’s résumé, generated by Novorésumé. It’s simple, packed, and most importantly, eye-catching. It already looks superior compared to a lot of the résumés we have seen. It also proves that you don’t need many pages to list down your info, despite being one of the world’s most successful visionaries. 

   

 There are also other résumé builders online:  Reed  is one of them. Just do a Google search, you’ll eventually find out with layouts or usability that you really like. 

 The Normal way: Design it yourself! 

  Tools: PC, Keyboard + Mouse, Drawing tablets optional, PhotoShop/Illustrator/Any online sketching tool.  

 To do this, you might need some additional skills with illustration software. 

 The idea is to create a layout that draws attention but doesn’t compromise on information legibility. 

 You can have a look at great designs from dribbble.com, a site where great designers like to post their work. Have a look at the ones you like, and determine what you like about them and incorporate them into your design. It’s good inspiration. 

  You need to keep in mind 4 things:  

  Typography  

 
	 Use 15-25px only. A too large text-size can look goofy and awkward. 
	 Like a kids book. Use a big font for headlines, and employ a low font weight. Like Helvetica or Lato. 
	 Since you’re sending this over the web, and it will be read on screen, go for a sans-serif font for easier legibility. 
 

  Colors  

 
	 Use only one base color. A résumé with too many colors will make it look amateur and is a pain to see. In the end, your résumé is an official document used to represent you in a good light. 
	 Never choose black for your base color. Black never appears in the real world. It is sombre, demure, and lacks energy. 
	 It is always a bad idea to use black for anything that is to be displayed on-screen, other than text. 
 

  Icons  

 
	 Icons can help increase aesthetic features and help you stand out. 
	 Use icons that are recognizable, like a suitcase for work experience, a graduation hat for education, etc. 
	 I recommend the use of icon fonts. They are scalable at various dpi on-screen. 
 

  Whitespace layout  

 
	 Whitespace is space where there’s no stuff. 
	 Use it to define hierarchy by putting some space between your education, work, skills, and information sections. 
	 Use that whitespace to build flow for the résumé reader. 
 

 Conclusion 

 That’s it! It all depends on how much time and effort you can put in to your résumé. Remember to keep it simple, accurate info, and not too long; 2 pages should be the absolute maximum. 

 You what would be a great use of that résumé? Use it when applying for jobs in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia with our job portal,  MIMS Career .. A lot of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare practitioners have been using the service, and many of them have landed the jobs at the location they’ve always wanted. Signup and apply now using our 1-click application feature. It’s fast, safe, and free. Any problems? Email us at mycareer@mims.com for more inquiries.

How to Write a Great Resumé

Résumé’s (also known as CVs) are great. They sumarize your experiences onto a few pages so your employer can quickly get a sense of who you are before hiring you. However, employers have to go through a lot of...

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  Photo by Rami Al-Zayat  

  1. Note-taking  
 2. Scheduling  
 3. Reading  

 Smartphone as a work assistant 

 Our phones have gone from blocky, awkward devices to sleek, thin machines. It is now 2017, and processing power in smartphones (even in budget ones) have overcome the performance of some computers just ten years ago. 

 With the modern smartphone now more of a pocket computer than a communication device, several apps have been made to make work easier. These apps, when used with a bit of creativity and time, can help you  stay on top of your goals, never miss an important piece of info, track everything that matters to you and increase mental focus.  

 Read on to find out how you can transform your phone from a typical communications device to an indispensable work and life assistant. 

 1. Note-taking 

 Text 

 Take notes with your phone rather than on a piece of paper. Unlike paper, you won’t lose digital notes if you have them backed up to the cloud. Moreover, you can take hundreds of notes with you on your phone without needing to carry thick notebooks everywhere you go. 

 Most note-taking apps are searchable, like a web browser. Retrieve your information quickly and easily, whenever you need it. On Android, the best note-taking app is  Google Keep . Keep allows your to color-code your notes to your fancy. Add them to your home screen as a widget for quick access. You can still view your notes on any computer with an internet connection. Simply go over to the  Google Keep  site, log in with your Google account, and browse through your notes. 

   

  source  

   

  source  

 On iOS, we recommend the default Notes app. It’s beautifully designed, clean, and robust. Write notes on the fly, and format your text in  bold ,  italics , or underlined. Much like Google Keep, you can attach photos on to your notes. You can also organize them in folders, for easy retrieval. 

   

  source  

  Bonus tip : You can create a note with your voice! Activate Siri by long-pressing the home button, and say “ Make a note “. Siri will ask you what to write about, and it will write whatever you just said. 

 Scan documents 

 What if you had access to all the paper receipts, documents, letters, and notes; any time, anywhere? You can! Your smartphone has a camera. The best scanner is the scanner you always have with you! 

 Simply point your phone towards a paper document and take a photo. Make sure you adjust the focus a bit so text is clear on your phone’s screen. Then, simply create a photo album in your phone’s photos gallery, label it  SCANS  and move the photos of your documents there. 

 Evernote ( iOS ,  Android ) is a multi-platform note-taking app that has a really cool scanning function. When you scan documents with Evernote, the app will brighten the document, making it seem like it was really scanned using a proper scanner. In dark environments, the app will automatically activate your phone’s flash to brighten up the image. Even when taking scans of the document at an angle, Evernote will modify the image to make it seem like you took it straight down! 

   

  source  

 Evernote has OCR (Optical Character Recognition); meaning that words in the document scans are searchable in the app. It even works for handwriting! 

 Other alternatives to Evernote include  Scanbot ,  PDF Scanner + OCR Free , and  Scanner Pro . 

 Draw sketches 

 Sometimes text just doesn’t cut it. What if you need to draw something? It happens a lot, especially in nursing and medical work. 

 Both Google Keep and iOS notes have the ability to create drawings. Unlike pen and paper, you’ll never run out of ink! 

   

  Android Police  

   

  How to make a drawing in Notes iOS  

 2. Scheduling 

 Calendar 

 Schedule events or tasks that you can’t do today. Any calendar app works well; but we recommend Google Calendar ( iOS ,  Android ). It has natural language text-parsing, meaning you simply type your event into the app like how you’d say it. For example, typing: 

 
 Midwifery refresher seminar 8pm Sunday at UMMC 
 

 Will add a calendar entry  Midwifery refresher seminar , dated on Sunday at 8PM, and location at UMMC. The app can take the information of the location of the event from Google Maps. So on that day, it notifies you what time you should leave to arrive on time! 

   

  Macworld  

 3. Reading 

 Books 

 Why bring your whole bookshelf when you can just carry your phone with you? Many textbook publishers also offer ebook versions of their textbooks. With an ebook reader app, you can read books you’ve saved on your phone. Now you can refer your favorite 900-page physiology textbook anywhere without needing to break your back. 

 The Kindle ( iOS , Android ) app allows you to buy ebooks from Amazon and you can read them anytime you like. Check out their selection of  nursing textbooks  that you can get cheaper than the physical copies. Even if you delete the ebooks off your phone, you can still re-download them from Kindle. 

   

  Play Store  

 3. Task Management 

 Todoist (iOS, Android) 

 Putting tasks out of your head and into a system that you trust is one of the best ways to prevent information overload. This enables you to have less mental distractions as you only focus on the task you are currently doing, rather than having other future tasks nagging in your mind. 

 Using task management apps can seem complicated, but it actually is not. The end goal is to spend less time doing the things you want to do, so that you have more time to do the things you want to do. 

 Having a to-do list makes it easy for you to see what you have right now, and what actions are up next.  Todoist  is a great app for this. It’s available on all platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, and Chrome. 

   

  Todoist  

 Start by listing down tasks in your Inbox. As your task list grows, you might start to see some tasks are related to each other. Create projects in Todoist to group these tasks and sort them. 

 Some tasks are more complicated than other tasks. You can break down these tasks into a series of sub-tasks, allowing you to focus on tackling one thing at a time in pursuit of a larger goal. Remember, to eat an elephant, you need to take one bite at a time. 

   

  Todoist  

 Also, just like Google Calendar, Todoist accepts natural language input; set tasks to recur daily, monthly, every two weeks, or even something complicated such as “ Every third Saturday of the month “. Todoist will understand you. See  here  for the complete guide. 

 Todoist is free to use, but with a small subscription fee, premium features such as location-based reminders, file attachments, and tagging are unlocked. 

 
 The modern smartphone is a great tool for self-improvement, organization, and productivity. In such a small device, you can read books, take notes, and stay on top of your work any time, any day. As nurses’ work become more and more complex, we need better tools to help us keep track of daily life. Hopefully you have gained insight into using this great tool, and help you take on challenges that will advance your career as a nurse. 

 Head over to  MIMS Career  and discover our wide range of nurse jobs. All of our pages are mobile-responsive; browse jobs, sign up, and apply are all doable on your smartphone. Make your next career move, with  MIMS Career . 
   

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You Should Be Using These Apps On Your Phone

Photo by Rami Al-Zayat 1. Note-taking 2. Scheduling 3. Reading Smartphone as a work assistant Our phones have gone from blocky, awkward devices to sleek, thin machines. It is now 2017, and processing power in...

Read More