It is bad enough that nurses experience abuse and violence at work, but it is entirely shameful when management disregard concerns and treat it as ‘business as usual’.
Ensuring safe nurse-to-patient ratios in Aged Care will make a huge difference to the lives of many nurses, residents and their families. Tell us your aged care story here.
I recently read a number of articles on Nurse Uncut about nursing staff getting abused at work and I can really relate to this.
I am an endorsed enrolled nurse in an aged care setting and I get physically and verbally abused at my workplace on a daily basis by the residents I care for. No matter how many incident forms or behaviour charts I fill out, management does nothing about it.
When I have personally spoken to management about these issues, the response I get is basically that they have dementia and this is the type of work you have signed up for so get over it.
I come home in tears thinking I couldn’t possibly work another shift doing that job in that facility but then my hands are also tied because I, as every other person does, have financial commitments to worry about.
I have been victim to bites, scratches, pinches, punches, slaps, kicks, hair pulls, water thrown on me and spitting in my face. I have come home with open wounds from sharp nails and the scars remain as a constant reminder. I have been called every name under the sun.
I think over time I have become a bit numb to the physical and verbal abuse and have learned to brush it off my shoulder. I often just accept that it is ‘normal’ in my field of work and I have gotten over it. But every chance I get to sit down and really think about what has happened to me at work, I quickly remember how wrong it is and I wonder why these behaviours are ignored.
I am a young female, who would never ever reply to an article like this, I hate confrontation and even now as I am writing it, I feel sick in my stomach wondering if this really is the right thing to do but I truly believe that no one should have to go to work and expect to be abused in any form – it is not ‘normal’.
The NSWNMA Report into Elder Abuse in Residential Aged Care found 90% of staff have been subject to some form of aggression from residents and 61% fear repercussions if they report the abuse.
If you have an experience you’d like to share, please get in touch here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether it was something that occurred in a single shift or about you’re entire career so far, we want to know.