Comment

Jane Bates: nobody should have to tolerate violence in the workplace

When frontline NHS staff experience a personal attack in the line of duty, employers must deal with it rather than brush it under the carpet, says Jane Bates. 
Violence-tile.jpg

When frontline NHS staff experience a personal attack in the line of duty, employers must deal with it rather than brush it under the carpet, says Jane Bates

'No one should feel threatened in the workplace for simply doing their job,' said the newspaper report.

Finally, I thought, someone is taking notice of the issues faced by frontline NHS staff who experience a personal attack in the line of duty. But no. The story was about a sports reporter who came under fire from a football manager while on air.

The reporter was surrounded by a film crew, never mind thousands of spectators, and so was physically safe. Although the manager's words were unwise, they were hardly frightening or abusive, but this still

...

When frontline NHS staff experience a personal attack in the line of duty, employers must deal with it rather than brush it under the carpet, says Jane Bates 


When it comes to attacks on nurses during a shift, is it time staff take matters into their own hands? 

'No one should feel threatened in the workplace for simply doing their job,' said the newspaper report. 

Finally, I thought, someone is taking notice of the issues faced by frontline NHS staff who experience a personal attack in the line of duty. But no. The story was about a sports reporter who came under fire from a football manager while on air. 

The reporter was surrounded by a film crew, never mind thousands of spectators, and so was physically safe. Although the manager's words were unwise, they were hardly frightening or abusive, but this still caused a media storm.  

Shock and shame 

It amazes me that there is no similar outrage about the violence and verbal abuse suffered by nurses. I heard about one nurse who had boiling water thrown at her. This is undoubtedly appalling, but incidents like these seem to be swept under the carpet by the powers that be, who seem to expect us to just put up and shut up, even though we have no physical protection against assault. 

Training provided by the NHS in this area is woefully inadequate, so we need to take matters into our own hands. Perhaps we should all wear personal cameras, like the ones cyclists use, so we have graphic evidence of the reality of frontline nursing. 

How else will the problem be addressed, unless we shock and shame? There are confidentiality issues, I know, but something has got to give. No one should feel threatened in the workplace for simply doing their job.


About the author 

 

 

 

Jane Bates is an ophthalmic nurse in Hampshire 

 

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs