Let’s face it…this march is happening and solidifying an end to one of the most difficult transitions into the most prestigious category both in education and career. Why a march to #EndHealthCareViolence ? Well, my question is, why not?! Isn’t it about time? Aren’t the lives of my co-workers, those that work in the thick of things…aren’t their lives worth anything?
When determining the path of my DNP project, I could have easily picked something simple, easy-breezy, and complicated it with something unmeaningful with enough passion to graduate -or- focus on something that has affected myself and others personally, to create social change. The culture of nursing, in particular, is one that I am very familiar with. Not so much about patient on nurse violence personally, as I would ask to have the most volatile patients on the floor, but how nurses not only treat each other but how they are treated by administration and co-workers.
At the time, I was working as a nursing professor, working on the curriculum from the Department of Education, finding the connection with all the hard data that I could gather, interviews, past experiences, latest issues, and societal trends in nursing, there was something terribly wrong. I had been on the floor for approximately 27 years until achieving my MSN Ed, I saw this but did not even realize how big the problem really was. I was not imagining what was in front of me! One day my former co-worker asked me about what my project was going to be. I sat back in my chair, gave her a look in disbelief shaking my head, turning into a smile and said, “You know how you know something and no matter how kind and nice that you make it, it is going to be ugly? I’m going to get kicked out of my clinical setting, I just know it and feel it in my bones”. She said “what?!” I just nodded and at that moment, I made a decision that no matter how much backlash that I would get, that my nursing family needed to feel safe and protected, that the violence had to stop.
All these years I saw the abuse, heard the complaints of nothing being done, seen open wounds and bruises from patients on my co-workers over the years, something had to be done. Some of you reading this might say “yeah no duh” but the fact of the matter was, nothing was truly being done and confirmed while working on my DNP. I was blacklisted by my former employer, nobody would hire me and it proved even more challenging as the school said DNP or Ph.D. educators were not allowed to mentor me for my clinical rotations. The clinical rotation was to be in a clinical setting, despite what the AACN Essentials state that it would be acceptable. So I sold my house, moved 2 hours to the Orlando area to ensure that I had access to a DNP as the psychologist that I was with was approved, but not an assistant Dean of Nursing with their DNP that was 5 miles from where I was living prior to moving. Sincerely Thankful for those that reached out to help, more than they will ever know.
Why am I saying this? Did I stop because of a barrier, actually many? No. Healthcare violence has to be stopped. If I picked pressure ulcers or something benign, would there be another nurse injured? Yes. Is there legislation being introduced? Yes. How many nurses will still be injured until legislation is enacted? Many! We need solutions and protection now and funding to make this happen. The fact of the matter is, we do need legislation but by the time something is done, organizations will turn their head to Joint Commission sentinel events, OSHA recommendations, and the ANA will continue to be ignored.
The time is now to show the world that Nurses & Healthcare workers in the United States are Done with Healthcare Violence. Our time is now to take back our professions!
Join Us: Peaceful Rally/March 8/2/19 starting at 10am Freedom Plaza, Washington DC then walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the front of the Capitol. Friends & Family are Welcome!