All over the globe, a lot of hospital workers have experienced some form of violence against them. For the longest time, it has been treated as something ‘normal’ in their environment. However, this puts their lives in danger and it’s about time that we do something about it.
According to the health care workers, the abuse, whether verbally or physically, usually come from patients. While this can be understandable because of the patient’s condition, it is still a scary thought for anyone who works in the hospital. In addition, family members tend to be abusive too most especially if their patient is too ill.
In few hospitals, security protocols are already in place. Some have metal detectors and tight security and surprisingly authorities have confiscated thousands of knives, pepper sprays, and even guns which is obviously alarming. There are also hospitals that require their workers to wear wireless panic buttons and cameras to add protection.
It is more than physical abuse…
One registered nurse from California had experienced something terrible from a patient who turned out to be very violent. She was kicked and punched in the chest and was almost knocked out. Apart from the pain brought by the punch and kick, she was traumatized. In fact, she is still having flashbacks.
These abusive behavoirs in the hospital clearly affect the hospital workers, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.
The questions are…
What should be done to stop this?
What can we do to help?
Often times we hear that health care professionals should respect the patients and their families. That is of course, true and should be taken seriously. However, the same level of respect must be given to health care professionals.
There should be a stricter process when entering the facility
Like what we’ve said, other people bring dangerous items to the hospital. These should be confiscated as it can lead to injuries and worse, death. In Asia, there are still a lot of hospitals where there are no metal detectors or similar security feature. They are even lenient with their security process. It’s really easy to sneak guns and other weapons if that’s the case.
Employers should implement alarms and security response
The case is different when the patient is not mentally fit to control emotions. They tend to be very violent. Hence, alarms and cameras are important for similar instances. But these aren’t enough. What’s more important is that there are people who can immediately respond to the hospital worker’s security needs.
Provide a venue where the abuse can be reported
Such incidents must be reported and if possible, legal actions should be taken. The abuse might be normal in the facility, but it is never ok. The violence in the hospital against health care workers must be stopped.
Family members should learn how to control emotions
For family members, remember that health care professionals are working hard to improve your family’s condition. However, there are things which are inevitable. We understand that it can get frustrating at times, but verbally abusing the health care professionals won’t help either. If you think that a health care worker is inefficient, you can always report it to the management and request if replacement is possible.
Voice out your appreciation
It wouldn’t hurt if we say “thank you” to health care workers. They’ve been working for countless hours, most of them do not have enough sleep. Trut us, small acts of appreciation can brighten their day.