At the end of last week, I had a conflict resolution session during my skills week. This session was absolutely fantastic! The teaching team made it enjoyable and the I found the theory, combined with the practical aspect, very informative. We learnt skills such as how to move away from kick, punch or slap, how to remove ourselves from a grasp, on the arm or around the neck, how to remove ourselves if someone grabs our hair and how to assist someone who may become aggressive. In the theory we learnt about assessing and identify a threat, how to avoid it, how to communicate with an aggressive person, how to get support from our team, security or intervention team and how to control the situation. Obviously I am happy that we have this session to protect ourselves and those around us, however, it does make me upset that this is the reality.
How can anyone think it is acceptable to hurt and abuse someone who is there to help? The company that taught us provides training for nurses, paramedics, and recently has even been approached by road maintenance workers as they are now seeing a rise in workers being abused by the public who are cross that they are slowing down traffic. I understand that people can react badly when emotions run high but these professionals are dedicated to serving the public. We are doing our job. We shouldn’t have to worry about being abused in our workplace, a place where we are caring for and treating patients. Yet we were informed that in a survey 68% of nurses said they had been verbally abused and 27% had been physically abused. In 2018, over 800,000 incidents of abuse were reported.
Please don’t take your anger out on the staff, they are working long, hard days to care for their patients to the best of their abilities. We can all make a difference. Next time you come across a nurse, a paramedic, a doctor, or any professional who have dedicated their lives to caring for and helping the public, take the time to thank them. A small gesture like this can have a huge impact. By sharing a little kindness, we can all contribute towards making the world a better place.