MedPro Blog

Encounter a Bully on a Travel Assignment? Here’s How to Professionally Deal with It.

It is an issue that is gaining more attention in the workplace – bullying. Bullying is about more than just being annoying or occasional rudeness. It involves continual abusive behavior against a person, where that person is routinely belittled, harassed or humiliated. Often the person being targeted is perceived as a threat to the bully. If you find yourself in such a situation on a travel assignment, how should you react?


Assess the problem.

Gain some perspective. Think about the person and the situation. Is this person abusive toward just you or is he just cranky toward everyone? Is the person very competitive? Is it a case where the person is simply a little too impulsive and his outbursts should simply be ignored? Check with other people. If the person is just unpleasant and hard to work with, others will have the same experience.

If, on the other hand, the person is singling you out for treatment that is abusive, unreasonable, aggressive, humiliating, threatening, or intimidating, it could very well be bullying. This is behavior that goes beyond just rudeness.

Push back.

Stick up for yourself. Bullying behavior continues because the bully knows he can get away with it, that he will not experience any blowback.

Let the bully know, professionally but firmly, that his behavior is not acceptable, and that you will not tolerate it. Stay calm. Don’t let the bully see that you are annoyed – that is what he wants. Avoid getting in an argument with the bully, but let him know clearly and repeatedly that his behavior is unacceptable.

Keep records.

Record the bullying behavior, document it and also record how you respond to it. Avoid doing anything unprofessional in your response. This record may come in handy down the road.

Go up the chain of command.

Sometimes, just warning the bully is not enough. The person just won’t be deterred. At this point, you need to go over his head. The human resources department is the usual place to go because this is their area of expertise.

Explain to HR what is happening and show them your documentation. Explain that the situation is preventing you from working as you should. Emphasize that you want to resolve the issue professionally.

You also should notify your staffing manager at your healthcare staffing service.


If you have done what you could and talked to the people in HR, but the situation has not changed, let your assignment manager as well as your staffing manager know you would like to be reassigned. It is just not worth the toll that bullying can take on you physically, mentally and emotionally if you stay where you are.

MedPro Healthcare Staffing is one of the top providers of temporary and contract healthcare professionals in the country. A Joint Commission-certified healthcare staffing agency, we work with you every step of the way to provide you with a rewarding work experience. If you are a healthcare professional looking to travel, give us a call today or click below to apply now.

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