Avoiding Sexual Harassment Charges on the Job

sexual harassment in hospitalWith the arrest of a prominent emergency medicine physician in Manhattan for the alleged sexual abuse of patients in his care, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of professional standards in this litigious climate. Even a simple misunderstanding can be disastrous for healthcare provider’s career. Here are a few guidelines to help you avoid any appearance of impropriety when on the job:

NEVER stare at sensitive body areas such as breasts or genitals. When examining these regions, sustain a direct, intense gaze into the patient’s eyes for the entire exam.

When examining fit, young male patients, break the tension by asking then to call you “Nurse Cougar.”

During the review of systems, ask each patient if they think you are a naughty boy who deserves to be punished.

Bring a chaperone with you for every pelvic exam! To put the patient at ease, wear matching theme costumes such as Power Rangers or Ninja Turtles.

To avoid “shaming” your patients, loudly exclaim disbelief if they mention any history of a sexually transmitted disease.

To emphasize your professionalism and compassion, always remove EVERY patient’s shoes and give them a long, silent foot massage with cranberry scented lotion.

Enhance patient dignity by making faint mewing sounds whenever you perform a rectal exam.

If you decide to masturbate in the doctor’s lounge during a shift, wash your hands thoroughly before touching your next patient’s neck and face