Your views

Readers panel: Should nurses wear body cameras at work?

Staff at a psychiatric unit in Northamptonshire took part in a trial of body-worn cameras, with the results showing a significant decrease in the number of violent incidents and use of emergency restraint. Nursing Standard readers have their say. 
bodycam

Staff at a psychiatric unit in Northamptonshire took part in a trial of body-worn cameras, with the results showing a significant decrease in the number of violent incidents and use of emergency restraint. Nursing Standard readers have their say

Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in north London @drew_london

I work in the community and would refuse to wear a body camera. My concern is that it would affect my relationships with patients, who might feel I was spying on them and breaching confidentiality. We already have CCTV in many parts of the NHS. Is making nurses wear body cameras really the way forward? What we need is a real zero tolerance approach to all attacks on NHS staff, instead of just paying lip service to it.

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Staff at a psychiatric unit in Northamptonshire took part in a trial of body-worn cameras, with the results showing a significant decrease in the number of violent incidents and use of emergency restraint. Nursing Standard readers have their say

bodycam
Using body cameras in healthcare settings is controversial. Picture: Calla

Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in north London 
@drew_london 

I work in the community and would refuse to wear a body camera. My concern is that it would affect my relationships with patients, who might feel I was spying on them and breaching confidentiality. We already have CCTV in many parts of the NHS. Is making nurses wear body cameras really the way forward? What we need is a real zero tolerance approach to all attacks on NHS staff, instead of just paying lip service to it. 

 

Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London 

Even though I have been assaulted by patients, I still struggle with the concept of body cameras. As well as sending out the wrong message to patients – that there is no trust – they may make people feel they can’t approach staff to discuss concerns because they are being recorded. Cameras in communal areas could be a good compromise for recording and preventing incidents, but if I was a patient receiving care, I would find it intrusive if my nurse was wearing a body camera. 

 

Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse in Nottingham 
@lizcharalambou 

It is crucial that healthcare staff feel safe and are supported to care for patients in a secure working environment. However, I am cautious about staff wearing body cameras. How useful would they be when caring for acutely ill, vulnerable, frail older patients in a hospital environment? My concern is that this could be seen as a ‘cheap fix’ to protect NHS staff when we should be implementing better alternatives, such as more security or nursing staff. 

 

Pete Hawkins is a staff nurse in an emergency department in Bristol 

Although body cameras could help ensure the safety of nurses who work with high-risk patients with the potential for dangerous and volatile behaviour, I don’t think they would make much difference in acute areas such as A&E, despite some incidences of violent or anti-social behaviour. I fear that if nurses were wearing cameras it would inhibit the crucial nurse-patient relationship and cause distrust, and as the majority of patients are not violent, it would be hard to justify this for the actions of a small minority.


Readers panel members give their views in a personal capacity only

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