Was attacked by a patient in the emergency room, at the Di Venere hospital in Bari. But despite this, and despite her fear, the young woman does not hold back nurse attacked and wants to go back to doing her job, the one for which she studied and specialized. In her words, the drama that healthcare workers experience every day, the difficulties, but also the desire to go back to doing their job with the awareness that it is becoming increasingly necessary to intervene to prevent similar episodes from continuing to occur in hospitals, not only in Puglia.
Would you like to tell us how the facts went? Was there something that prompted this woman who, like others, was waiting in the emergency room, to attack her like that?
“The lady in question accused me and another triagist colleague of showing favoritism for access to treatment. In this case, she had accused us of letting in people who arrived after her. We tried to explain to her that access to the emergency room is not based on the order of arrival, but based on the assigned priority code and that we had no interest in letting one patient enter before another. We treat and manage all patients equally, always based on the resources available at the time. The lady verbally abused me with unrepeatable epithets and even with death threats, and then physically with beatings on my left leg. I got up from the chair to protect the patient I was managing at the time and she also threw the workstation mouse at me ».
How did this episode make you feel? What do you want to say about what happened? Do you think being a nurse affected the behavior of the lady who attacked you?
«I would like to say that we are tired of not being protected enough, and we are tired of training for years and getting this in return. We are tired of the scarce and incorrect consideration of the nursing class, still treated as subordinate to the medical class and not as a category that acts with criteria according to science and conscience, duly trained and with ethical and deontological principles to be respected. We are really tired of all this »..
Have you decided to file a complaint against whoever attacked you? Do you think it is necessary to pay attention to episodes of this type?
“I’ve conferred with the proper authorities. At this moment, however, I set aside time to recover and calm down. I just want to forget this bad news page that touches many colleagues every day and, unfortunately, this time it has touched me. I just want to go back to work without being afraid, practicing the profession I have chosen to the fullest and I choose every day with love».
Are you afraid to go back to work on the ward? Are you afraid that what happened could happen again?
“I admit yes. In two years of service I have already received verbal attacks, but this time I am really tried by what happened to me”.
The aggression of which she was the victim is just the umpteenth similar episode against health workers, whether they are doctors or nurses. What do you think can be done to prevent this from happening again?
«We need a fixed position of the police, ready to intervene promptly. More doctors, nurses, social and health workers are needed to better manage expectations. These assaults happen at least once a day to triage personnel and no. This time it was my turn, and it went well for me, the next one might not end the same way. We operators are on the side of patients, always, and we are committed to maximizing results with limited resources. It is disheartening that this commitment is not recognised”.
Do you think it was worth letting people know what happened and not turning your head away? What positives do you hope can come out of this story.
“I think that if this episode has stirred even one conscience on the subject, then yes, it will have been really worth it”.