The Unspoken Violence Against Nurses

Maya Ramseier

There is another growing pandemic next to the one we are currently aware of. Violence against nurses. However, this is not new information, violence against nurses has been happening for years. It is only recently that nurses have begun to share their experiences. Whether the violence occurred years ago, or very recently, they are starting to come to light.

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According to the American Journal of Managed Care, also known as the AJMC. 75% of over 25,000 violent incidents occur annually, in settings relating to healthcare. While only 30% of these cases are actually reported. 

Moving forward, nurses have one of the most dangerous and difficult jobs of anyone. They not only put up with violent and scared patients, but they also have to watch people suffer. Often without even being able to take that suffering away. In an interview with Nurse Practitioner, Laura Ramseier, she said “ When you have somebody who’s suffering and can’t take away their suffering.” As a response to a question about what the most difficult aspect of being a nurse was. 

Because of this stressful environment patients are in, they oftentimes lash out, trying to cope with their fear. There is almost always a motive for the violence, the patients are at their most vulnerable, they are scared. Patients are usually in such a high stress environment, they deflect their emotions onto the nurses. This doesn’t make the violence right, but it does make it more understandable. 

Dealing with these scared and overwhelmed patients is a part of a nurse’s job. However, they shouldn’t be used as punching bags for the scared patients, they need to be just as protected when things begin to be unnecessarily violent.