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Lecture: Promoting respect in health care

October 2, 2014 — 

Dr. Judith MacIntosh will present the College of Nursing‘s 2014 Dr. Margaret Elder Hart Distinguished Visitor lecture.

Her lecture is titled, “No Bullying: Promoting Respect in Health Care.”

After this, MacIntosh will be joined by professor Sandy Hershcovis from the Asper School of Business and Ms Bernadine Wallis from the college of Nursing, as well as representatives from the U of M’s Student Advocates’ Office and the Manitoba Nursing Union for a panel discussion. The discussion is titled, “Bullying: What is Happening and What Needs to be Done.”

What: Dr. Margaret Elder Hart Distinguished Visitor lecture
When: Monday, Oct. 6, 2014

  • Lecture from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in Room, 260 of the Helen Glass Centre for Nursing
  • Panel Discussion from 2-3 p.m. in Senate Chambers, E3-262 in the Engineering complex


About Dr. MacIntosh’s lecture

“No bullying: Promoting respect in health care”

We expect workplaces to be positive and safe places where workers can contribute to success of employers. We know that work affects health directly through income and working environments and indirectly through personal and social support. Workplace bullying, however, affects health negatively and limits the ability of workers to achieve these social and financial benefits of employment. In a presentation based on research with men and women who have been bullied in a variety of workplaces, Dr. MacIntosh will talk about findings related to the growing international problem of workplace bullying.

Workplace bullying is repeated physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, threats, harassment, or hostility within workplaces, and consists of behaviors that are known to be, or ought to be known to be, unwelcome or unwanted. These repeated actions or words humiliate, intimidate, or otherwise harm a worker. As with other forms of abuse, they involve misuse of power and control. Both men and women are bullied and bullying occurs in all types of workplaces.

Targets of workplace bullying experience many physical, mental, social, and financial health effects. Workplace bullying is often endured for about two years because it is difficult to recognize and label at first, allowing effects to become worse over time. Most targets require, and seek, help and support to manage being bullied. In addition to the personal costs, organizational costs reach billions annually and are attributed to increased absenteeism, more leaves of absence, higher turnover, and lower productivity. Over half of targets leave the workplaces where they are bullied and research is showing that witnesses of unaddressed bullying also leave in greater numbers.

A concerted effort to promote respect at all organizational levels will help prevent workplace bullying; however, it must still be addressed when it happens. Employers will be effective if they address bullying by listening carefully, acting early and justly, and following appropriate policies and procedures. Because whole workplaces are affected when bullying occurs, interventions must involve whole work units. More research is needed to develop and evaluate appropriate strategies to address bullying. It is important to recognize that some current interventions designed to involve only targets and persons bullying will not sufficiently address the problem because these do not assist those witnessing or trying to manage the problem.


About Judith MacIntosh

She holds a Masters in Nursing from McGill University and a PhD from the University of New Brunswick. She has held numerous funding grants from CIHR, CIHR New Investigator Award, National Crime Prevention Center, Crime Prevention Action Fund, and SSHRC. She has received two awards for excellence in nursing education from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. She has published 19 peer-reviewed articles and has a special interest in violence, abuse and bullying in the work place.  She has recently retired from her position of Professor, Assistant Dean for Research and Faculty Development, University of New Brunswick and continues to work as an Honorary Research Professor on research projects that relate to the context of workplace bullying.



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