We came across this most interesting, recent South Australian study into violence at the Lyell McEwin Hopsital, which found that nurses do not always report [violent] incidents because they feel nothing will be done, or that they will be victimised by their managers! In my opinion, as a violently assaulted nurse, I believe that violence against nurses should be the same as violence against police. Zero tolerance!
Nurses feel they must accept violence as part of their job, new research shows
They also feel ill-equipped and untrained to deal with the ongoing violence.
Clinical nurse and University of Adelaide masters student April Stanley-Banks conducted the study after being exposed to violence during a decade in the LMH emergency department.
“Although they had a zero-tolerance policy towards violence in place at the department, it was something that I could see wasn’t addressing the situation enough to prevent it.”
“There are many reasons that nurses don’t report and they extend from a belief of `what is the use’ because nothing is going to be done or being victimised if they do report it,” she said.
In the study, she reports: “All (nurses) held an unprecedented belief that violence in the ED was ignored by management and felt insulted and unsupported by unevaluated efforts made to address it despite its escalation.”
Incidents included those involving weapons such as knives and, in one case, a sawn-off rifle.
The nurses felt they would lose their registration if they did not develop a resilience.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation state secretary Elizabeth Dabars said nurses must be able to feel supported in reporting any violent incident.
Northern Adelaide Local Health Network chief executive Margot Mains said the reporting of aggressive incidents or threats against staff is actively encouraged so they could be fully investigated.
“We would be happy to talk to any employee who feels they may not have received adequate support so we can investigate and continue to improve our processes,” she said.
Anyone guilty of expressing or displaying deliberate (controlled) violence towards a nurse should be held accountable before the courts for their actions. Violence is totally unacceptable in all forms.And the people (i.e managers, even doctors and supervisors) who are reckless enough to allow sheer and foreseeable endangerment of nurses should also be accountable for their negligence and their actions punished!
Anyone carrying out their duties in relation to employment should expect the right of reasonable co-operation. Anyone failing to co-operate should be removed.