The theme of my research is patient violence against nurses…but there are more sources. Nurses have messaged and thanked me for taking the stand against violence in the workplace. When I took on this sensitive topic, it was apparent that this would be a very unpopular topic among employers. I too have been retaliated against throughout my career, but that has not stopped me. I feel that it is important to bring our profession up to speed with the rapidly changing patient population through education and tactics to decrease our nurses from being injured.
Retaliation is when someone returns a perceived attack. The nurse reporting is not attacking the organization but truly trying to bring to light an issue that is occurring on their unit. When looking at the nursing indicators laid out by the American Nurses Association, it was not surprising to see that psychiatric physical assault and nursing turnover were both on the list. I personally have seen and talked with nurses that have been injured, that have stated they have reported a physical attack and have been told that they perpetrated and caused the person to attack them. All the while the nurse stands in their own blood, suspended until an investigation is completed…with no pay. So about underreporting…this is one of the reasons.
Understanding the bottom line and the costs involved in advertising, interviewing, hiring, and training new nurses and nursing staff, is it truly necessary to look for new help when you already have great nurses? Not at all. Playing the advocate role for the nurses that leave their positions, a majority are leaving because they are not being heard, tired of being hurt by patients, while being told that they could have done a better job. When a patient hurts them, the nurse composes themselves trying to brush it off, while smiling and caring for the other 4-6 patients that they are assigned…without a bathroom break…or lunch…or a moment to sit down to rest. If the nurses and nursing staff report a problem, please listen, we are on the front line of patient care.
I love being a nurse, we are a tough bunch that love our patients.
Shouldn’t we be loved too?