Bullying does happen in pharmacy. I don’t think it’s a pharmacy issue though. Unfortunately, it’s a human nature issue. Working with others means inevitably we are going to come across people, who have quirks, personalities which means it’s hard to work with them or who simply can’t play nicely with others. I think it happens where people don’t mean to be bully, but perhaps they don’t realise the way they are coming across to other people and don;y recognising their impact on others – little emotional intelligence.
I think it’s worse when you work in a small team or in isolation. There’s little support, with few people you can discuss with. There are few opportunities where others can also be aware of the behaviour. Where there’s a power dynamic, where someone feels you’re a threat to them, where you are new to a job or early in your career I think there’s also a risk.
I think they only way it can be stopped it communicating the issues. If there is someone in the organisation where you work who you get some advice from, perhaps there is a way that it could be dealt with. I think its easier in a bigger organisation, where there are clear procedures on dignity and respect in the workplace. In smaller organisations, things might get swept under the rug. But there are other organisations to get help from, Pharmacist Support, who provide a free confidential support line, and The Pharmacists Defence Association. Unfortunately, it might be better just leaving, if nothing can be done. I wouldn’t feel disheartened by this. Leave knowing that there are more welcoming, supportive organisations. But most importantly leave with your wellbeing.