Nurses work tirelessly to provide patients the best possible care, but the call of duty comes at a price. Nurses experience violence in the workplace more than any other profession.New York’s new law making it a felony to physically harm a nurseis a landmark step.
Now there is another side of nursing violence that we must address: the psychological harassment and intimidation that happens all too often between nurses. Bullying has made devastating headlines recently. Sadly, that culture of intimidation carries into adulthood, and is prominent in the nursing profession.
This trend is worsening an already severe nursing shortage across the country by deterring potential nurses and pushing good nurses out. It also affects patients’ health. Just as kids can’t thrive in school when they are afraid of their peers, nurses can’t do their job well when they are being shunned, ostracized or belittled.
I hope hospitals, clinics and health care professionals will do all they can to ensure that nurses are safe from psychological as well as physical violence. It’s in the interest of all our health.