PEI

P.E.I. nurses encouraged to report violence in the workplace

The president of the P.E.I. Nurses Union attended a rally in Fredericton Tuesday that addressed the personal safety of nurses at work.

'Nurses should not be hit, kicked, punched and accept that'

'It's not part of the job ... violence towards our health-care workers — whether it's physical or verbal,' says Mona O'Shea, president of the P.E.I. Nurses Union. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

The president of the P.E.I. Nurses Union attended a rally in Fredericton Tuesday that addressed the personal safety of nurses at work.

It's an issue across the country, said Mona O'Shea, the union's president. The rally was a call from nurses for more training and supports to prevent violence in the workplace.

"We need to push that envelope better. Nurses should not be hit, kicked and punched and accept that," she said.

"It's not part of the job ... violence towards our health-care workers — whether it's physical or verbal."

Incident reports

She's encouraging Island nurses to fill out incident reports at work to help demonstrate to the province how severe the situation is.  

Nurses can feel overworked and tired, O'Shea said, which makes filling out incident reports feel like an added task at the end of the day.

If nurses don't feel safe in the workplace then our patients, clients and residents are not safe either.— Mona O'Shea, P.E.I. Nurses Union

But the bottom line, she said, is nurses need to make incident reports a priority in order to make clear to their employers that violence will no longer be tolerated.

Inadequate security

"We need to do a better job to fill out those ... and to make ourselves accountable for it, because if nurses don't feel safe in the workplace then our patients, clients and residents are not safe either," she said.

In addition to addressing violence in the workplace, O'Shea is also calling on the province to address issues with nursing shortages, training and a need for increased security at health-care facilities.

Inadequate security at health-care facilities, she said, is part of the overarching issue of violence nurses face on P.E.I.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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