Why should nurses accept that violence and aggression is an accepted part of their working lives?
Workplace violence has been defined as mistreatment, threatening behaviour or insults, including physical and psychological violence.
Scottish researchers looked at 10 years of media reporting about violence towards nurses.
They found that reporting in the media was superficial when there was a story about workplace violence towards nurses.
The assumption behind the reporting was there is an expectation that nurses will be subjected to workplace violence.
Reporters never looked at what should be done to prevent violence occurring.
The impact on nurses who experience workplace violence has serious consequences.
Apart from physical injuries, they report sleeping problems, anxiety, depression and other chronic health issues.
Naturally, their work performance is also affected.
Nurse report poor job satisfaction, lack of concentration at work, increased risk of errors, and low productivity.
Despite the rhetoric of improving the working life of nurses, rates of violence and aggression have not declined.
The researchers say that
“Media reporting of violence and aggression toward nurses might shape people’s perceptions of the profession, perhaps impeding nurse recruitment and retention efforts in the face of global nursing shortages.”
The normalizing of workplace violence towards nurses is a given in news reports.
There was little reporting about the consequences of workplace violence for nurses.
Newspapers tended to sensationalize the stories.
The focus needs to be on prevention and reduction measures so that all nurses are safe in the workplace.
That’s a campaign any decent publication should support.
To learn more about workplace violence,