Workplace Violence : What Nursing school did not prepare you for .
Is this how the outside world is ?? 😭
Nurses are being exposed to significant degrees of physical , psychological , and sexual abuse , to the extent this has become a normal and surprisingly acknowledged aspect of their responsibilities.
The prevalence of workplace violence among Nigerian nurses is on the increase and has often been related to the COVID 19 pandemic .
In a research carried out to determine the prevalence of workplace violence among nurses working in general hospitals, Osun state , result showed that 66% of nurses had experienced workplace violence and approximately 89.5% of violence were unreported ( Douglas & Enikanoselu, 2019) .
This is something we didn’t discuss at nursing school, and it may be very damaging especially for new nurses .
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The World Health Organization (WHO) defines workplace violence as, “Incidents where staff are abused, threatened, or assaulted in circumstances related to their work, including commuting to and from work, involving an explicit or implicit challenge to their safety, well-being, or health
Violence against nurses has been going on for decades . Last February , two nurses at Federal Medical center , Owo, Nigeria were badly beaten by a patient relative . One of the nurse went into coma and the other suffered a fracture https://www.africanews.com/
Harassment at work not only affect nurses mental health but also undermines the nurse’s ability to deliver quality and competent care.
The nurse has been charged with the responsibility of care not a death warrant
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, there are four types of workplace violence in the healthcare field:
Type I: The perpetrator has criminal intent and has no relationship to the business or its employees
Type II: A customer, client, or patient becomes violent when receiving care or services
Type III: employee-to-employee violence ( nurse-nurse violence)
Type IV: Personal relationship violence
Risk of workplace violence among nurses
As a result of the first hand closeness of nurses to patient during management , nurses are exceptionally vulnerable to workplace violence. Out of grief , a patient can be violent . Nurses working in the ICU ( intensive care unit). Nurses working in the emergency unit, Registered Nurses , Oncology nurse etc are at risk due to intense emotional outburst within workplace environment .
Effects of Workplace violence on Nurses
Encountering workplace violence has many negative effects on nurses and the organization they work with. viz; increment in burnout, diminished occupation execution and job satisfaction, poor mental status , fear , anxiety , depression , and physical injury just to mention a few .
Sexual Violence: Prevention of workplace violence
I am a nurse and not a punching bag
Understanding the modus operandi of workplace violence among nurses would not only help to curb the prevalence of this epidemic but also help to keep the mental health of the nurse in check .
Employing experienced and educated security staff in hospital would help to protect the staffs against violence .
Include the use of CCTV cameras , encourage the use of a duress alarm , developing one’s emotional intelligence .
Note: workplace violence is not only limited to incidents that happens in the hospital . It also includes incident that happens outside the hospital related to work e.g gang up physical abuse by patient relatives .
How to Deal with Workplace violence
The nurse should be aware about legal law and responsibilities governing patient abuse and harassment of nurses.
Report case of abuse to your employer and follow the hospital policy concerning such violence.
Treat yourself for any psychological or physical injury
Participate in the educational training of new nurses towards workplace violence.
Advocate for the creation of hospital policies against workplace violence if there is none .
Educate patient on admission about hospital policy combating against workplace violence to prevent reoccurrence .
Nurses should watch out for one another in the workplace not bully one another .