By Jessica Dzubak, MSN, RN
With all of the Year of the Nurse (YON) celebrations, we cannot forget the violence that nurses are being subjected to across the nation. Nurses indeed should be celebrated for the good work that they do, but tolerating violent assaults should not be part of that work. With that, we ask nurses to consider three things during #YON2020 when thinking of workplace violence:
1. Not Just Part of the Job
Workplace violence is not ‘just part of the job.’ We can no longer make excuses for violence or remain complacent with ineffective protocols and underreporting. The statistics are startling. The American Nurse Today’s (now American Nurse) 3rd annual Nursing Trends and Salary Survey (2019) reported that more than half of nurses who suffered from violence, verbal assault, sexual harassment or bullying at work were not satisfied with how the situation was handled. Only 44% of nurses who experienced physical assault were satisfied with the resolution.
So why have we stayed silent so long?
2. Stand Up & Speak Up
Nurses should view the Year of the Nurse as an opportunity, not only to bring light to the epidemic of workplace violence, but to empower one another. Victims of violence should never be judged for reporting or asking for help. Reporting must be encouraged after any incident and support be given to everyone involved. It isn’t enough to have prevention and de-escalation protocols. Effective, timely resources and support for victims must be available when incident occurs.
There are 3.8 million Registered Nurses in the country (the largest healthcare profession!). When we stand together people will listen. ONA uses the power of its nurse members to support not only state efforts but federal legislation to end workplace violence, such as H.R. 1309, which passed the House in the end of 2019. The basis of our profession is caring, yet we fail in caring for ourselves and one another.
If nurses don’t stand together and stand up for themselves, how can we expect others to?
3. Take a Stand
Take the pledge to #EndNurseAbuse
Click Here to Support H.R. 1309