Tulane University alumnus and social work adjunct professor Philip Hemphill has earned national attention with the recent publication of his first book, Taming Disruptive Behavior.
The book discusses ways healthcare industry managers, organizational leaders and physicians can identify and eliminate disruptive behavior in the workplace. This behavior, including harassment, threatening treatment of co-workers and other inappropriate actions, can have a major impact on patient care and outcomes.
“To be able to generate this resource that is responsive to the needs of the healthcare community and gain national attention by some of the leaders in the field has been exciting,” says Hemphill, who holds a master’s degree and a PhD in social work from Tulane. “There is a real need for this kind of work, so I’m happy to provide this resource.”
The issue has gained prominence in the industry in recent years as disruptive behavior has been linked to negative impacts on both staff members and patients. A 2008 survey of hospitals nationwide showed that this behavior is shockingly pervasive — 77 percent of respondents reported seeing this behavior by physicians and 65 percent by nurses. Importantly, two-thirds linked these actions to adverse patient care outcomes such as medical errors or patient mortality.
The book was co-authored by clinical psychologist William “Marty” Martin, and its focus was formed after the two researched topics that were missing in current literature. Hemphill says they have begun planning for their next book, which will focus on sex in the workplace.
“We were intensely focused on writing so it required finding time because both of us have careers,” he says. “One of the more challenging aspects of writing this was being able to respect the confidentially of my patients while communicating the severe impact this behavior can have on individuals and organizations.”
Joseph Halm is marketing/communications coordinator for the Tulane School of Social Work