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The nursing profession has been among several professions in which staff experience violence in the cpurse of work. These acts of violence have been perpetrated on serving nurses and students from several points which include colleagues, patients, physicians or health facilities managers. The violence has impacted negatively on the profession of nursing because when nurses are under tension of violence, they may not be in a position to perform at their optimal and the ultimate outcome is poor patient care (Woelfle & McCaffrey, 2007). This research paper examines the violence in the nursing profession where bullying occurs frequently and its impacts on patient care.
Impact of violence on the Profession of Nursing
As a matter of fact, violence in the profession of nursing has generated a lot of interest and a lot of research has been done on the subject. The most outstanding finding is that violence really exists in nursing profession and it has negatively impacted on the health care of sick individuals. The nurses who are affected by the violence do not perform at their best in patient care because they are disturbed emotionally (Woelfle & McCaffrey, 2007). This is by a mere fact that every person would like to work in a friendly environment free of emotional disturbances and abuse.
The issue of violence in the nursing profession has been identified to be done mostly by other nurses. This may be peer to peer (horizontal violence) or nurse managers who carry out bullying on other nurses who joined the nursing profession at different times (Kelly, 2009). For instance, the student nurses and those new in work usually get bullied by those who have been serving. The acts of violence usually include sarcasm, making up of complaints, set up of mistakes and even continued creation of obstacles (Johnston, Phanhtharath, & Jackson, 2010). The emotional impact of bullying will cut down the performance level of a nurse.
The basic duty of a nurse is to provide care to a patient by providing emotional, spiritual and physical needs. Therefore disturbed individual nurse caused by violent acts against them can cause errors, accidents and low quality performance (Woelfle & McCaffrey, 2007). When the pressure is unbearable, the affected nurse may turn emotions to the patients resulting in poor patient care. They may shout and get angry on behavior of a patient to a level that they may not serve them at all. They may turn a minor patient’s mistake to be horrible yet they are supposed to care with love and understanding.
The factors that influence this fact of reduced performance due to violence in the nursing industry will include the lack of initiative to carry out assigned duties. The reduced energy and lack of urge to serve well in their jobs will make nurses to lax which leads to poor service delivery to the patient. The normal rate of service at work will be reduced causing patients unattended cases to increase beyond the acceptable levels (Woelfle & McCaffrey, 2007).
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Moreover, there will be increase in cases of sick nurses who will not be able to attend to duty. These are cases of illness developed by of emotional depressions out of violent work environment. These nurses usually suffer from depression, anxiety, cardiac palpitations, and post traumatic stress disorder and. The more sick time for nurses automatically leads to poor performance on the patients care. Thus the work environment influences poor performance by affected nurses (Hostility and Violence in the Nursing Profession, 2010).
Also, there will be increased staff turnover. This is because nurses may opt to change their workplaces to other friendly environments. The effects of staff turnover is directly on the patients because of the time taken to replace these staff and the time taken to get used to new environments yet patients need continuous service and care (Hostility and Violence in the Nursing Profession, 2010).
When we examine this effect from the perspective of all who may require nursing services in the future, it raises a lot of concern to them. All human beings can pass through any form of illness in life which may be major or minor and as such will require services of a nurse. Therefore, because it is generally accepted to be an important profession in serving human life, people view this violence as a threat to future caring of patients (Hostility and Violence in the Nursing Profession, 2010). Many people feel that there is need to put up measures to reduce the effects of violence on the patients so as to ensure an efficient nursing service. The assumption being that many health facilities are affected by the nurses’ violence.
From the point of view of nurses, they are not enjoying their profession with a lot of violent incidences. This is evidenced by the transition from one place of work to another in search of respectable work environment. They will not mind the poor health care caused by their exit but rather work in a place of respect and dignity. The society views nurses as angels who can endure any situation without pain but it reaches a point where they cannot stand the offensive acts and my not consider their exit impact on the patients. The assumption is that they can get better work environments somewhere else (Hostility and Violence in the Nursing Profession, 2010).
The race, gender and class usually influence the poor care service impact of violence on nursing industry. Most of the hospitals which serve the high class individuals in the society may not have any impact caused by violence. This is because they provide best services to their patients by investing in the welfare of each nurse. Thus cases of violence are stopped immediately they occur so as not to affect their clients. The other case is that most female nurses are affected emotionally more than men. Therefore, the impact of violence caused on female nurses as compared to male nurses will be higher on the patients. Also, in terms of races, there are those races which view human life as sacred and there is no negligence accepted. Therefore the impact of violence on nurses will be minimal in those races.
There are legislations including National Labour Relations Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enables individuals to report incidences of violence at work without being victimized (Johnston, Phanhtharath, & Jackson, 2010). Therefore the legal area discourages the violence at work and that all should be punished for perpetrating the same. This goes a long way in reducing cases of violence against nurses and thus reducing the poor care services associated with the violence (Huber, 2002).
From the spiritual and ethical view, life is important and no nurse is justified in offering poor service in revenge of violence. It will be ethical to take up the violence issue with those in charge with administration or the government other than patients. Thus the spiritual and ethical views will tend to reduce the impact on the patient’s service delivery and ensure minimal patient care disturbances. This situation is similar to some cultures which do not allow any mistreatment of patients.
The disadvantage of violence is that it has consequences on the patients. It can affect their conditions and causing others even to die because of neglected care by the nurses. This is also out of the fact that patients may be innocent of the violence yet suffer. On the other hand, the bad service by abused nurses may force administration to address their plight and lead to good working environment making it advantageous to entire profession (Weber, & Keller, 2009).
The act of violence in the nursing profession exists and it has a negative effect on the performance of nurses leading to poor health care. It shall remain that the health of a human being is very important and there will be no justification for any action taken by any nurse to deny access to quality health care. Therefore it is better for the nurses to think of other ways of solving violence at work rather than reduced service delivery. The nurses can stop by refusing to be victims and proper consultations with health managers (Johnston, Phanhtharath, & Jackson, 2010).
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