What Will It Take to End the Violence?
Nurses encounter foul language, name calling, spitting, pushing, kicking and much more. The “this is your job, take it and roll with it” mentality is slowly changing.
Nurses often feel like they have nowhere to go and no one to talk to when it comes to workplace violence. The nonprofit Nurses Against Violence Unite provides a safe place for nurses to talk, anonymously if they so choose.
Research shows incidents of workplace violence are underreported because nurses think it is part of the job, or they don’t feel they have their organization’s support, local law enforcement or the legal system. It’s not only that nurses should be able to report violence, but they should have the option to do so anonymously.
Nurses need help from hospital administrations and communities in which they work to solve the problem. Administrators must create a culture in the work environment in which violence is not accepted.
Nurses also have to do their part by keeping a safe distance from patients to prevent physical contact whenever possible and never going alone to treat a patient whose mental state is already escalated.
Nurses should also consider getting involved with their employers’ workplace violence committees.
There is a bill that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve in November 2019, called The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Act of 2019, which ensures health care and social service employers, including hospitals, take specific steps to prevent workplace violence and ensure the safety of patients and workers. The bill has passed in the House but has not yet passed the Senate.