Violence in the Hospital
This year, I am President of my local chapter for the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). Close to the end of last year I asked local members what they would like to learn or talk about at meetings for 2014.
I received mutliple requests for a discussion on workplace violence.
While preparing for the meeting, I was overwhelmed with the resources provided by the ENA. There's a whole page dedicated to the topic, including numerous research papers.
I also stumbled upon a blog The First to Say No, written by a veteran ED/Critical Care/Trauma physician who knows what it's like to work in a setting where violence is the norm.
As I sit here now and think about the tagline "Workplace Violence" I come to realize how numb I am to the reality of it. I see nurses get verbally assaulted everyday. And I have seen my coworkers physically assaulted as well. It doesn't bother me like it used to.
"It's all part of the job," we say as we brush off our wounds and keep trucking along.
That "part of the job" is partially why I had to leave the bedside. The first time sarcasm dripped off my tongue and felt good, I realized I needed to do something. It 's been a few years since then, and I am still trying to heal that part of me.
And from where I sit now, it feels like the violence is getting worse. My colleagues obviously agree.
This frightening reality needs to be addressed STAT.
Do you believe in armed guards and metal detectors?
What other measures is your facility taking to keep you safe?
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