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M E D I CA L W H I S T L E B L OW E R

                                                                                                             # 19

   Worry Free Rest Needed
                                                                                                   Preventing
                                                                                                   Re-Traumatization
Medical Whistleblowers are usually workers
who have attained professional competence in
their field. Medical Whistleblowers have ac-
cess to information at a high enough level to be
                                                   “I discovered long ago that among the most
able to detect medical fraud, abuse and ne-
glect but also brave enough to alert others to
                                                                effective advocates

the problem. Because they often are in the           I have seen are the survivors, those who
                                                                                                    Supporting the Emotional
healing profession, Medical Whistleblowers                       have channeled
                                                                                                    Health of All Whistleblowers
often provided comfort to others and were the
                                                   their pain and anger into activism to achieve
                                                                                                    and their Friends,
strength that others rely on. Most Medical
Whistleblower’s are originally of a very strong                 lasting reforms.”                   Supporters and Families.
constitution. They are usually self confident             Attorney General, Janet Reno,
adults who have good self esteem and were
fully capable of handling difficulties in their                  August 15, 1996

own lives. Therefore Medical Whistleblowers
have many coping mechanisms to hide the
emotional damage the retaliation has caused
them and just try harder. But under extreme or
prolonged stress even very emotionally strong
people often undergo an apparent personality
change. It is inappropriate and even danger-
ous to make long term assumptions about a          MEDICAL WHISTLEBLOWER
person by observing their reactions under
stress. It is also important to remember that
                                                   P.O. Box C
there needs to be intervention from outside to     Lawrence, KS 66044
protect the whistleblower and prevent further      Phone: 360-809-3058
retaliatory abuse.                                 Fax: None                                           Tel: 360-809-3058
                                                   E-mail:
                                                   MedicalWhistleblower@gmail.com
retaliated against usually feel ashamed of what is hap-     the perpetrators to switch the focus of attention

           Post Traumatic Stress
                                                     pening to them, and by the time they seek help are          away from their own abusive behavior by inferring,
                                                     likely to be already showing signs of stress breakdown.     (usually under the guise of sympathy and support),
                                                     At the point these competent Whistleblowers finally         that the person they are targeting is mentally ill, and
                                                     admit they need help, they are likely to present as over    that it is their "mental illness" which is responsible

Psychological violence can eventually lead to Post   -emotional. In these circumstances it is all too easy       for the current problems. Whistleblowers need on-

-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is a nor-    believe the person's account of workplace psychologi-       going reassurance that they are not to blame for

mal reaction to abnormal circumstances. PTSD is      cal violence or bullying as over-reacting when in fact      what has happened. Referring stressed people for

not usually an indication of long term or underly-   the symptoms of emotional stress should be recognized       work-based counseling helps perpetuate the myth

ing problems in those who suffer from it. Whistle-   as actually corroborating what they are saying.             that it is the person who is the problem, rather than

blowers who are being bullied should be encour-                                                                  the working environment. It is important that em-

aged to seek support sooner, rather than later,
                                                     Secondary Traumatization                                    ployers and service providers take stress reactions

and should be able to do so with the assurance                                                                   seriously and remove the Whistleblower from the
                                                     The persons whose misdeeds the Whistleblower is re-
that they will be believed and effectively sup-                                                                  stress before the damage becomes more serious or
                                                     porting, often retaliate by fabricating complaints
ported, rather than be treated as if they them-                                                                  permanent. Medical professionals, who are gener-
                                                     against the Whistleblower. These fabricated com-
selves were the problem.                                                                                         ally highly committed people, are particularly likely
                                                     plaints do not need to even have the appearance of
                                                                                                                 to ignore their own symptoms and struggle on,
These competent whistleblowers under the ef-         truth in order for the bully to be protected by the Good
                                                                                                                 since seeking help is too often regarded as an ad-
fects of workplace bullying and whistleblower        Samaritan Laws and their false allegations protected by
                                                                                                                 mission of weakness or professional inadequacy. It
retaliation may become unassertive, over-            governmental immunity under Peer Review standards.
                                                                                                                 is crucially important that those providing help and
anxious, compliant and even unable to cope with      People may also disbelieve the Whistleblower, and
                                                                                                                 support to the Medical Whistleblower, do not mimic
even the most trivial of stressors. The symptoms     side instead with those in power or authority. Co-
                                                                                                                 the effects of the trauma and inadvertently cause
of stress breakdown and PTSD are frequently mis-     workers may ridicule him/her, abandon, blame, ostra-
                                                                                                                 secondary trauma to the victim of retaliation. If the
understood (by family, friends, co-workers and       cize, sabotage, threaten, and betray him/her. These
                                                                                                                 support offered is too directive and/or controlling,
employers) as those of inadequacy or inefficiency.   painful and dangerous reactions can come from family,
                                                                                                                 however well-intentioned, there is a danger that it
There is a danger that stressed and/or bullied       friends, and authorities as well as from people associ-
                                                                                                                 will be perceived as replicating the whistleblower
Whistleblower could find themselves facing disci-    ated with the perpetrator. Co-workers may fault the
                                                                                                                 retaliation or bullying, so reinforcing feelings of
plinary proceedings when what they really need       Whistleblower for the hostility in the workplace. The
                                                                                                                 powerlessness and causing further stress and dis-
is rest and support. Some typical human reactions    Whistleblower may be unable to recover until they
                                                                                                                 tress. Do not put stressed/bullied whistleblower
to severe and persistent stress are the loss of      leave the stressful position, but may be unable to find a
                                                                                                                 back into the same stressful/bullying situation and
emotional control, apparent over-reactions to        new position until they have recovered. Employers,
                                                                                                                 expect them to "prove" themselves. Long term solu-
seemingly trivial stimuli, showing hyper-            therefore, need to be aware of the potential for com-
                                                                                                                 tions require the full involvement of the stressed
vigilance, and being on constant alert for further   pounding the problems of stressed/bullied Whistle-
                                                                                                                 person, but should wait until he/she is first rested
abuse. Being targeted for Whistleblower Retalia-     blowers by unjustly disciplining them. Where the stress
                                                                                                                 and reassured.
tion almost always leads to feelings of powerless-   has been caused by workplace bullying, it also allows
ness in those targeted. Those who are being

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Medical Whistleblower Brochures 19 Retraumatization

  • 1. M E D I CA L W H I S T L E B L OW E R # 19 Worry Free Rest Needed Preventing Re-Traumatization Medical Whistleblowers are usually workers who have attained professional competence in their field. Medical Whistleblowers have ac- cess to information at a high enough level to be “I discovered long ago that among the most able to detect medical fraud, abuse and ne- glect but also brave enough to alert others to effective advocates the problem. Because they often are in the I have seen are the survivors, those who Supporting the Emotional healing profession, Medical Whistleblowers have channeled Health of All Whistleblowers often provided comfort to others and were the their pain and anger into activism to achieve and their Friends, strength that others rely on. Most Medical Whistleblower’s are originally of a very strong lasting reforms.” Supporters and Families. constitution. They are usually self confident Attorney General, Janet Reno, adults who have good self esteem and were fully capable of handling difficulties in their August 15, 1996 own lives. Therefore Medical Whistleblowers have many coping mechanisms to hide the emotional damage the retaliation has caused them and just try harder. But under extreme or prolonged stress even very emotionally strong people often undergo an apparent personality change. It is inappropriate and even danger- ous to make long term assumptions about a MEDICAL WHISTLEBLOWER person by observing their reactions under stress. It is also important to remember that P.O. Box C there needs to be intervention from outside to Lawrence, KS 66044 protect the whistleblower and prevent further Phone: 360-809-3058 retaliatory abuse. Fax: None Tel: 360-809-3058 E-mail: MedicalWhistleblower@gmail.com
  • 2. retaliated against usually feel ashamed of what is hap- the perpetrators to switch the focus of attention Post Traumatic Stress pening to them, and by the time they seek help are away from their own abusive behavior by inferring, likely to be already showing signs of stress breakdown. (usually under the guise of sympathy and support), At the point these competent Whistleblowers finally that the person they are targeting is mentally ill, and admit they need help, they are likely to present as over that it is their "mental illness" which is responsible Psychological violence can eventually lead to Post -emotional. In these circumstances it is all too easy for the current problems. Whistleblowers need on- -Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is a nor- believe the person's account of workplace psychologi- going reassurance that they are not to blame for mal reaction to abnormal circumstances. PTSD is cal violence or bullying as over-reacting when in fact what has happened. Referring stressed people for not usually an indication of long term or underly- the symptoms of emotional stress should be recognized work-based counseling helps perpetuate the myth ing problems in those who suffer from it. Whistle- as actually corroborating what they are saying. that it is the person who is the problem, rather than blowers who are being bullied should be encour- the working environment. It is important that em- aged to seek support sooner, rather than later, Secondary Traumatization ployers and service providers take stress reactions and should be able to do so with the assurance seriously and remove the Whistleblower from the The persons whose misdeeds the Whistleblower is re- that they will be believed and effectively sup- stress before the damage becomes more serious or porting, often retaliate by fabricating complaints ported, rather than be treated as if they them- permanent. Medical professionals, who are gener- against the Whistleblower. These fabricated com- selves were the problem. ally highly committed people, are particularly likely plaints do not need to even have the appearance of to ignore their own symptoms and struggle on, These competent whistleblowers under the ef- truth in order for the bully to be protected by the Good since seeking help is too often regarded as an ad- fects of workplace bullying and whistleblower Samaritan Laws and their false allegations protected by mission of weakness or professional inadequacy. It retaliation may become unassertive, over- governmental immunity under Peer Review standards. is crucially important that those providing help and anxious, compliant and even unable to cope with People may also disbelieve the Whistleblower, and support to the Medical Whistleblower, do not mimic even the most trivial of stressors. The symptoms side instead with those in power or authority. Co- the effects of the trauma and inadvertently cause of stress breakdown and PTSD are frequently mis- workers may ridicule him/her, abandon, blame, ostra- secondary trauma to the victim of retaliation. If the understood (by family, friends, co-workers and cize, sabotage, threaten, and betray him/her. These support offered is too directive and/or controlling, employers) as those of inadequacy or inefficiency. painful and dangerous reactions can come from family, however well-intentioned, there is a danger that it There is a danger that stressed and/or bullied friends, and authorities as well as from people associ- will be perceived as replicating the whistleblower Whistleblower could find themselves facing disci- ated with the perpetrator. Co-workers may fault the retaliation or bullying, so reinforcing feelings of plinary proceedings when what they really need Whistleblower for the hostility in the workplace. The powerlessness and causing further stress and dis- is rest and support. Some typical human reactions Whistleblower may be unable to recover until they tress. Do not put stressed/bullied whistleblower to severe and persistent stress are the loss of leave the stressful position, but may be unable to find a back into the same stressful/bullying situation and emotional control, apparent over-reactions to new position until they have recovered. Employers, expect them to "prove" themselves. Long term solu- seemingly trivial stimuli, showing hyper- therefore, need to be aware of the potential for com- tions require the full involvement of the stressed vigilance, and being on constant alert for further pounding the problems of stressed/bullied Whistle- person, but should wait until he/she is first rested abuse. Being targeted for Whistleblower Retalia- blowers by unjustly disciplining them. Where the stress and reassured. tion almost always leads to feelings of powerless- has been caused by workplace bullying, it also allows ness in those targeted. Those who are being