Monday, November 10, 2014
Violence Against Nurses
Watching the video out of a hospital in Minnesota where several nurses were violently attacked by a patient wielding some sort of stick or pole is horrifying. If you haven't seen it, watch it Here.
I can't imagine what these nurses are going through, the attack looks like it came from out of nowhere. They are charting, entering orders, calling about changes in patient condition, doing any number of things and suddenly realize that a patient is charging toward them with a weapon. Their reactions give me chills, the brutality with which they are hit is unbelievable.
Nurses are the largest segment of health care providers and violence against nurses is on the rise. Being pinched, hit, slapped, punched, and kicked shouldn't be a part of our every day practice. The Minnesota incident shows how bad it can become, but even the "small" acts of violence every day are not recognized for their impact.
What would we say to the people who are getting hit, slapped, punched, and kicked from somebody in their own home repeatedly? Would we make excuses for that person because the violator was under the influence of drugs or alcohol? I don't think so. We'd say that the person is crazy for staying in the situation.
Yet, violence toward nurses is widely tolerated. And it's not only female nurses. We expect that the men in our profession are going to step in and respond when a patient becomes violent; we often put male nurses in even more danger than the rest of us.