I am writing this post because I am trying to empower all nurses regardless of title to stand up to this mentality that we have to take abuse.
Where did this myth come from? Why is it that we are seen as punching bags and sounding boards for the crazy and insane?
After taking my fair share of abuse and assault over the years, I have taken a stand - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH NO MORE!!!
Like many nurses, I used to think that being slapped, punched, bit, scratched, hair pulled, poked, spit on, yelled at, cursed out and assaulted in general was just part of our job. Nursing school teaches (indirectly) to be submissive and subservient to your higher ranking employee's and the institution you may work for. The overall nursing workplace politics are such that the bedside nurse is the target/victim of all things under the sun and as nurses we are supposed to take it - "If you have integrity you will thing of this as a learning experience".
I have news for everyone - NO MORE!
The fact that nurse assault/abuse posts are so little discussed is a major issue to me. We all need to step up and face this issue.
And face it with realism and honesty - No more justifications for the patient or there friends. So what if they are under stress! Does being under stress justify assaulting the person who is trying to help the situation? Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Just because the patient has a terminal diagnosis does not justify them from hitting the nurse.
We as a profession need to challenge this myth that we are expected to take assault.
I for one refuse to allow any patient to lay a finger on me without appropriate consequences. Sometimes its the show of force from security (our security are ex-cops with Tasers, billyclubs, and mace - you do NOT want to mess with them).
I am begging for open discussion on this issue - Stand up and empower yourselves and your profession. Assault is assault - If a patient is confused and assaulted you and you have a broken nose, does that lessen the pain or the implications from being victimized? -NO!!!
Lets all discuss this and realize that we are not to be taking this on the job. We all have had horror stories. We all need to stop making excuses / justifications.