Nursing Paper on Patient Abuse

Topics: Nursing, Health care, Health care provider Pages: 7 (2320 words) Published: February 7, 2011
Essentially, the term abuse is an issue facing the nursing profession today. Many unreported cases of encountered verbal and physical abuse have been found to be ample in acute and complex care settings. These cases are amongst professional individuals (nurse-nurse and nurse-physician abuse) and also among the patient abusing the nurses. Effectively, abuse is not only a Canadian issue. It has been reported internationally as well. Thus, many nurses today are lobbying for the decrease of abuse within health care settings in order to ameliorate the working conditions. Nursing abuse may lead to other issues which will be discussed in this study. This paper will address the nurse-nurse, nurse-physician and nurse-patient abuse. In addition, this study will indicate the many choices that nurses are given in case of abuse and present the need for solution for the prevention of abuse in nursing. In 2006, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) issued a document regarding violence in the workplace. The document estimated that 50 per cent of healthcare workers will be physically assaulted during their professional careers, and nurses are three times more likely to experience violence than any other professional group. Given that nurses constitute 58.3 per cent 6 of Ontario’s health-care workers, the impact of workplace violence on nursing and the delivery of nursing care are significant (2006). These statistics are very frightening considering that they illustrate current events in Ontario. In addition, workplace violence is present in almost all health care settings, which increases the rates of violence in Ontario. Effectively, high-risk practice settings for abuse were thought to be almost exclusively psychiatric and emergency units, however, findings now also point to violence against nurses in medical surgical and community settings (Duncan, 2000). The codes of ethics that regulate the roles of health care professionals not only establish rules regarding patient relations but also include rules regarding respect and dignity among health care professionals. Nonetheless, some of the nursing values instituted in the nursing code of ethics continue to be violated today. Indeed, the College Nurses of Ontario (2002) set a series of practice standards that would in fact promote respect and trust between health care workers, thus reducing abuse in nursing. The statement confirms that reorganization and job uncertainty can have a negative impact on the way nurses work together and relate to each other. More than ever, nurses need to work collaboratively and promote an environment of collegiality. This means that nurses show consideration and respect for each other (CNO, 2002). However, studies show that the average nurse being is subjected to abuse from other employees and patients. When studying abuse in nursing, the hierarchy established in the health care system, is an important aspect to consider. Fudge (2006) discusses the issues with the hierarchy established in health care. Certainly nurses are seen as functioning within a hierarchy where they are deemed to be second-class health care workers or the “Cinderellas” of health care, and that despite the changing role of women in society nurses continue to be oppressed. Indeed, professionalism is beyond education, however social status in the workplace seems to undertake a path of professional misconduct from health care professionals toward their peers. The CNO (2002) Professional Standards: Ethics states that nurses have a duty to know and acknowledge each colleague’s role and unique contributions to the team effort. Nurses’ trust in the expertise of one another, share their expertise and knowledge with one another, and refer to each other when they do not have the necessary competence to provide a specific part of the nursing care themselves. Thus understanding the role and the scope of practice of individuals is critical for reducing abuse. Consequently, superiority,...

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NELLIGAN P. GRINSPUN D. JONAS-SIMPSON C., McCONNELL H. PETER E. PILKINGTON B. BALFOUR J. CONNOLLY L. LEFEBRE N. REID-HAUGHIAN C. SHERRY K. (2002). Client-centred care: making the ideal real. Hospital Quarterly: 5(4): 70-74.
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