Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Taking A Stand Against Nurse Abuse

A recent publication reported the story of a nurse who was still working in an emergency department after 23 years of dedicated service. During that time, she frequently experienced being spat upon, bitten, punched, slapped, cursed and even splashed in the face with bodily fluids. One of her latest encounters was the worst.

Her patient was a man who had just been released from jail and had gone to a shelter. Whatever his medical problem, he ended up in her emergency room. During his treatment, he choked her with her own stethoscope! On top of that, when she ran out of the room, her supervisor and co-workers did not believe her.

As you know, nurses are part of one of the hardest working professions. You can’t pay enough money to many people to deal with some of the situations that a nurse might face. Nurses have enough to deal with, let alone with attacks from patients. Abuse from those we try to treat is not part of our job.

In some States, it is only a misdemeanor if a patient assaults a health care worker. There must be stricter penalties. Abuse or violence against health care providers MUST be stopped!

There is an organization at www.stophealthcareviolence.org which provides education and advocacy to put an end to workplace violence in our nation’s health facilities. It allows a way for nurses to support each other. Whether or not you have been the victim of such an assault, it is well worth your time to check out that website.

Until next time, take care of yourself, especially while you’re at work.

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