Harassment is an unwanted action that is based on color, religion, race, sex, or disabilities, and it can be seen in many industries. “Workplace harassment is the threatening behavior directed against an individual worker or a group of workers.” Workplace harassment in the healthcare sector is defined as “any undesired conduct that has the effect of violating the dignity of the employee or generating an offensive environment for the employee,” according to AKUH (Agha Khan University Hospital) policy. Workers in healthcare, particularly nurses, have been highlighted as a susceptible group for workplace harassment, and we’ll look at some of the issues here.


Workplace harassment of nurses is a widespread problem around the world. However, the exact prevalence is unknown. WHO, ICN, and other international organizations are hard at work determining the prevalence, scope, causes, and characteristics of workplace harassment directed towards nurses. Because of a variety of factors, the majority of workplace harassment toward nurses differs from country to country. Such as the country’s geopolitical situation, healthcare delivery mechanisms inside healthcare settings, and nurse training opportunities to deal with such undesirable behaviors.


According to international research, the total incidence of Workplace Harassment among nurses in Karachi is over 82%, while another study performed in both private and public hospitals found that the prevalence of workplace harassment towards nurses is up to 76 percent.

“Workplace harassment can significantly affect both the physical and psychological condition of healthcare professionals and leads to poor job motivation,” according to the article (Yang et al., 2018). It also damages an organization’s reputation by causing job and career discontentment, higher absenteeism, and more resignations.


There are a variety of harassment laws around the world that differ depending on the situation. Workplace harassment, particularly for women, was addressed by a law measure in Pakistan in 2010. The process has three key parts, according to the Protection Against Harassment of Women at Work Act 2010. First of all, a committee of authoritative persons should be formed to conduct an investigation. Second, the technique for conducting a private inquiry. Disciplinary action and sanctions are the third stages. Similarly, each institution has established organizational policies and protocols to be followed to eliminate workplace harassment following national law. The fundamental criticism of the national law is that it only applies to women, and no laws have been passed to protect men who are harassed at work. Nonetheless, the AKUH policy assures that every employee of the organization, regardless of gender or designation, is treated fairly in their harassment policy, which is managed by the safe disclosure committee HR (AKUH harassment policy 2010).

Another difficult step is to address workplace harassment on an individual and organizational level. Since, in many cultures, victims may face numerous problems, the subject of harassment, particularly sexual harassment, is considered taboo, so feeling humiliated and ashamed while confronting harassment is frequent. Fear of losing their job, not getting promoted, not being taken seriously, and receiving threats are some of the other issues they face.

According to a prevalence survey by (Karim Somani, 2011), 17.5% of nurses were frightened of negative consequences, 10% felt ashamed or guilty about reporting, and 47.4 percent did not disclose because they thought it was pointless.


Harassment is one of the significant issues that poses several difficulties for healthcare personnel. Nursing is considered a high-risk profession for harassment due to their daily close exposure to various types of people, and healthcare systems around the world are facing issues with nursing staff shortages.  Harassment has evolved into a global issue that must be dealt with in a variety of ways, including providing strong rules, legislation, effective staff training, and competent management, so that employees may easily execute their jobs in a safe atmosphere.

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