Are You Sure Nursing Is For You?

In our first story that we did about assaults on nurses, we were very surprised to find out that the vast Majority Of Assaults On Nurses came from patients or families of patients

In today’s article we will focus on more documentation to prove that being a nurse is more dangerous than you may think.

According to this story from Toronto, over the past three years reports of violence and nurse assaults are on the rise. The Toronto Star Newspaper discovered that the Ontario Nurses Association has long been calling for better protection for healthcare providers. Over the last three years cases in some instances have doubled. A spokesperson for the hospital said changes in documenting standards are likely to blame for the increase. Another factor that may influence the increase is that the union is encouraging staff to report every incident.

The nurse Association is unhappy with these explanations saying that employers are trying to downplay the issue. Some employers, it is said, still discourage staff from reporting incidents by telling workers that violence is just part of the job. The University Health Network employs 13,000 staff, all of them unionized.

An occupational health and safety specialist with the nurse Association wants to see a violence strategy implemented in hospitals across the province. The strategy would include mandatory reporting of violent incidents to the Ministry of Labor.

In this op-ed piece from the Windsor Star the author says that assaults on nurses surprisingly common. That statement is documented by a statistic that shows that 54% of the Ontario Nurses Association members say they have been physically assaulted. That organization represents employees who work in long-term care homes, psychiatric facilities, emergency departments and all healthcare sectors. In other words, the condition is pervasive.

The story goes on to say that there is a culture of tolerance for workplace incidents that must be changed.

The big question is why is this happening? One answer is a shortage of registered nurses working in the health care system. This leads to what is perceived to be poor service that caused patients and their families to be frustrated with waits.

Interestingly enough, most documentation about nurse assaults comes from Canada. But this story comes from the Worcester Recovery Center in Massachusetts, where there were 425 recorded assaults in 2014 causing 189 nurses and mental health workers to be out of work due to injuries from assaults that resulted in 5,600 lost workdays over a two-year period.

The story goes on to explain that according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workplace violence affects an estimated 1.7 million employees in the US annually and nurses and other personal care workers are at the highest risk.

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What is your experience with assaults on nurses in hospitals? Share them so that others may gain from your experience.