Date of Conferral





Health Services


Lloyd K. Ford


In the healthcare workplace, bullying is shown to negatively impact patient care and safety, workflows, outcomes, interpersonal relationships, performance, mental and physical health, and cause a plethora of other secondary effects. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of high performers or subject matter experts working in the healthcare field and had encountered peer-to-peer interference. The research questions focused on understanding the behaviors and outcomes of peer interference. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was used as the conceptual framework. Data collection was achieved by interviewing 10 participants from a variety of healthcare backgrounds. Participants self-identified to be subject matter experts in their area of specialization or considered themselves to be high performers. Data were recorded, transcribed, consolidated into a data corpus, coded, and categorized. The result was an emergence of 7 themes that were further analyzed to understand the participants’ experiences with peer-to-peer interference and how it impacted their professional and personal lives. The findings from this study revealed that participants perceived their treatment as negative, undermining, hindering to accomplishing their job, harmful to their mental and emotional health, and that it interfered with their life outside of work. The findings of this study could be an impetus to significant positive social change in the workplace through a heightened awareness and focus on the issue of peer-to-peer interference and the negative effects it has on high performers and subject matter experts in the healthcare setting.