In 2001, Salon.com published “The War Against Nurses” by Diana Reiss-Koncar. According to the article, assaults on R.N.s are at an all-time high, and nurses who complain or seek help risk loosing their jobs. Since its publication, and the publication of countless other articles on the subject, little has been done to protect nurses from assault in health care facilities, and hospitals continue to blame the victims of assault.
I’ve been attacked many times over the years at work, and each time my employer would ask, “What could you have done differently to prevent the attack?” The last time I was attacked, I became angry when my boss asked me that moronic question, but instead of sulking, I took action. I filed charges against my patient. Eventually, the person was found guilty of second-degree assault, and sentenced to ten years in jail and was fined $25,000. During the process, I educated a judge about workplace violence at my hospital, and since then, several local nurses have taken abusive patients to court.
Have you ever been assaulted at work? How did your employer respond to the attack?