I want to express my gratitude to Brown and colleagues for bringing to light the unspoken issue of workplace violence, which nurses face too frequently (“Workplace Violence Training Using Simulation,” Cultivating Quality, October). I also want to thank them for showcasing the hands-on education that is greatly needed to address this issue. I would like to propose that they make this education and training available nationwide.
As nurses, our main concern is to take care of and protect our patients. We are taught to nurture them, comfort them and their families, and put their needs above our own. What happens when the tables turn, and we must protect ourselves from a patient or their family member? How do we ensure our own safety without putting our patients at risk for harm? When is it acceptable for us to potentially inflict harm on them to protect ourselves? These unfortunate scenarios should be few and far between, but they are not.
There needs to be a culture change involving not only practicing nurses but nursing schools as well. Is workplace violence being discussed in nursing programs? Are we teaching nursing students to protect themselves? We should receive training before we have the chance to encounter violence in the workplace. We need more hands-on education, simulations, and real-time feedback to better prepare us to help keep our patients, their families, and most of all ourselves safe.
Katie Austin, RN