Nurses face job violence, survey says
A survey by the Manitoba Nurses Union reports 30 percent of nurses have been assaulted and 50 percent have been intimidated by patients while on the job.
Union president Sandi Mowat said the recent survey of 500 nurses found most assaults against healthcare workers occur in long-term care facilities.
"The physical assaults could be anything like a slap or a kick, or a push, a shove, and I do know nurses that have been bitten," said Mowat. "Equally disturbing are the threats."
The union is to issue a workplace violence report later this year but meantime is calling for improved crisis training and security as a result of the recent survey findings.
"We do have issues around patients who are cognitively impaired or … who have physical ailments that make them not able to make decisions properly," said Mowat. "And so they're hitting and striking out and really not knowing what they're doing."
According to one 2001 study, nurses face assault more often than police officers and jail guards.
This week, a healthcare aide was suspended after allegedly striking a patient at Winnipeg's Riverview Health Centre. The aide apparently struck back after being hit in the face by the patient, Lawrence Sanderson, who suffers from a severe brain injury that make him prone to violent outbursts. Sanderson suffered a cut lip.