I recently read another blog about nurses being assaulted or attacked in health care. It spoke mainly about how administration continues to not support the victims. If you work in health care, violence is expected and accepted by administration, at least. I am sure that the person that has been attacked disagrees.
According to this blog, the percentage of nurses that have been threatened or attacked is pretty high. It goes on to say that 51% of those that have been injured are afraid to speak up about the incident. This is the real crime. No one should have to live with this and not be able to tell someone about it. It went on to say that one person that spoke up about workplace violence was fired. How can this happen in a healthcare facility where safety is of the utmost importance?
Management continues to see violence toward healthcare workers as part of the workplace. Really? Is it ok and expected? What if that worker is a daughter or wife or sister of management? For that matter, is it ok for anyone to be assaulted? I don’t think so and it is time that management takes a look at this and makes some changes. Just because the person doing the attacking is sick, he does not have the right to attack anyone. Learn to deal!
However, that is not how management thinks or what nurses are made to believe. It is just a part of one’s job. Management makes excuses for the patient’s behavior. An example was given where a female staff member had been sexually assaulted, and the response to this was something about the patient being sexually frustrated. Even if he was, that does not give him or anyone the right to touch a female or male nurse without her/his consent. Why does this continue to prevail? Nurses give their all to save lives, and make a patient comfortable, and this is how she is treated? What I really don’t understand is how management can condone this.
Nurses are taught from the beginning that they do not have the right to retaliate. I worked in a mental health facility and when I first started there we were taught how to protect ourselves, but we were also told that we do not have the right to take legal action against a patient if he does assault us. My question is why not? I know that the patient is ill and if we get hurt while trying to get a patient in control that is one thing, but if the patient deliberately attacks us why don’t we have the same rights as any other person?
Nurses are made to feel less than a person that has the right to assume that they will not be attacked. Management should support this, but they don’t. Nurses are afraid to even tell their supervisors of the incident. They can not even be honest with their supervisor and if they are they are made to feel like they did something to provoke it–that it was their fault. The other concern that they have is that they will be punished or even fired if they make this public. Going out on workmans comp is frowned upon by management as well. They make the injured person feel like they are faking and not really hurt an in need of care or time off. I was lucky enough to work in a place where the physician in the health clinic seemed to feel that just the assault itself was reason for the person to be on comp for a short time. Think of how violated one feels when he has been attacked by another person.
Nursing is stressful enough even when you have the support of management. Imagine what it is like when you live in fear of retaliation from management. Does this add more stress? Well, of course it does. Healthcare facilities don’t understand that when they have shortages because people quit that the stress level is high. I don’t think it takes a genius to figure it out. The sad thing is that nurses not only leave the facility, but leave nursing for good. What is going to happen when there are not enough nurses to care for you when you are ill? Management needs to start making nurses feel supported and valued if they want anyone left for them to supervise.
In the mean time nurses do have alternatives if they just can’t go on being abused in the field that they so love and wanted to work in for the rest of their lives. Everyone has their breaking point and management needs to recognize this and do something to change it. Nurses truely are abused, not only by those attacking her, but by the people that should have the nurse’s back. Wake up and smell the “need” for support.
One of the alternatives that one might consider is starting their own business on-line. Maybe one should look into this before they get to the end of their rope, too. I waited until I retired and then had to try several companies before I found Wealthy Affiliates to help me get a business started. At this company you will find everything that you need to make a success of your business.
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