Our government does not value nurses
After 34 years of nursing, I was put in the position of laying an assault charge against a patient recently. This happened because of three things: inappropriate admission of a violent patient to a general unit, inadequate staffing, and an unsafe work environment.
I was assaulted despite numerous past episodes, documented and verbally communicated to hospital management. Fearing for my coworkers and myself and worried about impending increases to beds in our unit, I am pursuing charges. Taking this action has been difficult and I feel goes against my role as a caregiver. But I have no other recourse.
This whole episode happened because of an underfunded system by our provincial government.
RNs are being cut to save money or replaced by RPNs. Our government does NOT value nurses, and therefore we are not seen to deserve safe work environments, protective gear, or at least adequate/supportive care when dealing with increased patient acuity.
It is no consolation to be near the end of my working career with a body broken by job demands so that I cannot enjoy the things I had hoped to do in retirement.
The public needs to know about the violence nurses face and collectively nurses need to support each other by starting to refuse to work in unsafe environments.