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They called it, “Violence in nursing”: I call it, “Healthcare Directed Violence”

First, I DO NOT like the title of this allnurses’ article. NOT the author’s fault. I just have a different perspective. Mine, the BEST defense is OFFENSE! With my tone set, how about “Healthcare directed violence” instead for title? The difference, Healthcare directed violence is more inclusive, as NO one in healthcare is excluded from this tragic and pervasive phenomenon, and the responsibility of EVERYONE in healthcare to eradicate.

Second, allnurses is NOT a collective voice for healthcare, despite what they state. How do I know? Allnurses edits the post they permit on to their site as to not violate their rules. I am NOT against rules but they should NOT edit and/or reject post simply because whoever is doing the editing disagrees with the post. Disagreement is NOT a hate crime or a crime at ALL. If a collective voice for healthcare than every voice ought to be heard. NOT at allnurses. Nonetheless, here is my two sense [sic] to this article on allnurses.

As to the article’s question, “Why is violence towards [healthcare workers] so pervasive?”

Healthcare’s altruistic accommodating and submissive culture makes them an easy target. On top of that, healthcare administrators and pundits are disconnected from those who give care thus they could NOT care less. Yes, harsh words (that are banned by allnurses) but if administrators and/or pundits cared or were the casualties of these inappropriate behaviors this silent national crisis would be fixed within a single shift!
How so, these incidents DO NOT occur at local Department of Motor Vehicles, Court rooms, schools, or even businesses, as the article points out. Why? The perpetrators would be ARRESTED on the spot to have a trial as to what actually happened at a later date. THAT IS WHY!

That is NOT healthcare. Healthcare’s junior-high school culture lacks the strike first and strike hard line necessary to quell healthcare directed violence. Not to mention, if NOT the administration an elitist colleague will come down on you for NOT being caring or compassionate enough. Elitist who believe ONLY they can care for the sick and injured because they are more caring and compassionate. Elitist who believe healthcare workers being submissive and apologetic, regardless the behavior of others, is what defines healthcare workers. Elitist who believe they and only they can be the champion of an interaction gone bad and they naïvely feel compelled to make matters better or are capable of de-escalating, not realizing they are being manipulated by perpetrators. Interestingly, those SAME elitist are ONLY present before and after an inappropriate act against colleague/peer healthcare workers but NEVER are they present during the active acts of inappropriate behavior.

The elitist behavior despite researchers have suggested for decades the need for healthcare workers to maintain a strong and united posture toward manipulative patients. Those studies adding that such a stance of solidarity and cohesion was paramount for the patient’s care. But NOPE! Not the elitist. Those studies DO NOT include them, elitist say.

Many of times I have suggested NOT to rally around the most extreme of inappropriate behavior but instead to rally at the lightest suggestion of ANY inappropriate behavior. Why? Inappropriate behavior is NOT a continuum of unacceptable inappropriate behavior at one end and ACCEPTABLE inappropriate behavior at the opposite end. Inappropriate behavior is INAPPROPRIATE, EXCLAMATION POINT, whether cursing once or stabbing a healthcare worker ELEVEN times! And when it shows its fangs healthcare workers NEED TO WALK AWAY as those inappropriate behavior is an administrative issue and NOT healthcare.

On that latter point, we MUST NOT accept these high-impact or buzz words pundits use, like Type II Violence and the likes, to make these inappropriate acceptable, when these behaviors we would NOT accept at home. Yet, healthcare administrators and pundits want us to accept this venomous behavior from those we are helping. NO!

Also, DO NOT accept the notion that drug seeking behavior patients are the primary offenders toward us or that the inappropriate behavior is ONLY physical, verbal, or even psychological. THEY ARE NOT! Instead, the majority offenders of inappropriate behavior come from those with, what I have labeled, EXAGGERATED UNREALISTIC EMOTIONAL EXPECTATIONS. And more commonly than not are perpetuated with a pen with which they submit their 3-5 page long melodramatic diatribes as complaint letters to administrators.

“Healthcare workplace violence is an underreported, ubiquitous, and persistent problem that has been tolerated and largely ignored.” –Dr. J. P. Phillips

Why? Because the first thing administrators ask is, “What did you do to piss off that patient?”

Healthcare pundits downplay healthcare directed violence by telling us it is a rare occurrence at the hands of the demented, psychotic, or those under the influence.
It is NOT and instead it more common than not. And more common than not it is NOT from those listed but instead from those who did not get what they wanted, tired of waiting, missed their honey-bunny, thought it was too noisy at the nurses’ station or whatever flavor of the week it is.

It is sad that the industry on the forefront of fighting domestic violence finds itself in an abusive relationship, to include justifying the violence and siding with those who are abusive towards us.

Contrary to popular and emotional belief these are NOT problems laws and/or policy will change. Instead, it is healthcare workers’ responsibility and NOT anyone else’s to steer our profession in the right direction without compromising healthcare workers or patients.
As for patients, I say dismiss those who annoy us. Dismiss the rude. The entitled. The abusive. The demanding. And those who have taken us down the wrong tracks. By dismissing those who annoy us it frees us to focus on those who value, trust and appreciate us for the care we give.

To take healthcare back and Make Healthcare Great Again we must stand in solidarity and side with loyal employees and coworkers over outsiders, the petulant, unreasonable, angry, demanding and those who tread on us and NOT waiver. Otherwise those who annoy us will NOT change their inappropriate behavior as long as they can find tolerance elsewhere.

DO NOT confuse placating with advocacy as indulging those who make unreasonable demands leaves us vulnerable as the culture of ANY organization is shaped by the worst behavior tolerated.

Lastly, we must get rid of the IDIOT-ology [sic] that patients are customers, clients, or guest. They are NOT! They are patients, ill or injured. And ONLY healthcare has patients, which makes us unique to ALL other industries.

The suggestion that we need more training to recognize signs of inappropriate behavior is INSULTING. Really? More training. Who DOES NOT recognize inappropriate behavior? WHO!?!

DO NOT accept that idiot-otology [sic] from administrators. Inappropriate behavior management, de-escalation, conflict resolution, customer recovery, and customer service are ALL creations of administrators for customer retention for profit and NOT healthcare. Neither of those administrative creations are our jobs. NONE OF THEM! Our job is healthcare, EXCLAMATION POINT!

When patients or families are inappropriate, WALK AWAY! When inappropriate behavior is accepted by administrators LET administrators worry about. We have work to do elsewhere that is valued, trusted, and appreciated. Once more, just my two sense [sic].

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