Sadly, these numbers probably don't surprise many nurses who are forced to deal with this level of violence on a daily basis. And those that are abused--physically or sexually--typically don't report the assault. Some nurses in New York are pushing for legislation to make it a felony to assault a nurse.
Still, other nurses in hospitals around the country are simply asking for more protection. "The American College of Emergency Physicians has recommended other safety measures, including 24-hour security guards, coded ID badges, bulletproof glass and 'panic buttons' for medical staff to push. Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital is among hospitals that have had success with metal detectors, confiscating 33 handguns, 1,324 knives, and 97 Mace sprays in the first six months of the program."
Violence against nurses is an ever-growing problem and nurses need to work together to make it understood that this violence will not be tolerated.
Do you have any suggestions as to how hospitals or even nurses themselves can help to combat this issue? Do you find yourself facing violent patients?
Within the next several weeks, The College Network will post a white paper discussing issues that nurses face and what can be done. For more information on violence against nurses, be sure to keep an eye out for Issues Nurses Face: And How to Overcome Them.
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