Care for those who care

VIOLENCE IN THE HOSPITAL EXISTS.

We seldom talk about it because we think it’s “part of the job” or that we “signed up for it”. This is a skewed view of what nursing really is. Priority is given to patient care but self-care should be given equal importance. I believe violence in the hospital – be it physical, emotional, or verbal – coming from either patient or fellow HCP is obviously underrated and often unreported or underreported.

We, nurses, often struggle with role conflict between our duty to care for others and one’s duty to self when providing care especially following a critical incident that involves violence.

I believe what we need is an (1) immediate debriefing following a violent incident and (2) a good supportive work environment to prevent violence (both from patient/caregiver and fellow HCPs) and, maybe, enhance resilience.

Much like the lauded newly-established customer care center, we deserve the same mechanism where nurses (and other HCPs) could voice out their concerns, struggles, grievances of any sort without the prejudice of being judged, ridiculed, and sanctioned (especially by seniors) for basically just stepping up for one’s human rights.

We’ve got a long way to go before we finally realize that job satisfaction and quality of life affect the quality of care we render to our patients and the overall patient outcome and satisfaction. While hospital services and health care delivery have been improved in the past months, I cannot help but ask, what about us? People who care for other people also need to be cared for.

I cannot accept that “this has been the practice” and that “we cannot do anything about it”. We shouldn’t stick with practices that are clearly outdated, irrelevant, and ineffective. And yes, we can do something about it and the rest of the many issues and challenges we are facing day after day.

Care for those who care?

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