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Thursday, June 1, 2023

the powerlessness of nurses in the face of daily violence

Five days after the murder of a nurse by a man suffering from psychiatric disorders in Reims, in the north-east of France, a report by the council of the order of nurses underlines that two thirds of nurses were victims of aggression in their professional life. Almost daily verbal and physical attacks.

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When asked if he feels safe in the hospital, Pierre, a nurse for 11 years at the Beaujon hospital near Paris, is categorical: ” No no. But I know it. For a very long time, we were led to believe that we were safe, that we had armored doors and such. The day a guy arrives and explodes the armored door, you understand that you are absolutely not safe. »

Two out of three nurses assaulted, it seems to him little, because in his department where he works at night, attacks are daily. ” At the level of my service, I think that all the professionals in my service have already been attacked at least once “, he notes.

Lack of means

Attacks linked to the pathologies of certain patients, people who are alcoholic or simply exasperated by waiting too long. Pierre has already filed a complaint once in his career, but this remains an exception: “ After twelve hours of work, very few professionals will file a complaint because they have been insulted. We are not going to spend three hours filing a complaint about it, so that there is generally no outlet. »

What is missing are means. In the hospital as in the psychiatric services to avoid violence, we need staff and we need beds, insists the nurse. And very clearly, it has to be said that since 2019, we have had fewer staff, fewer beds and we have had a rather staggering increase in violence. With the Collectif Inter Urgences, he put pressure on the authorities to demand these additional resources. Because the first victims of this situation are the patients, recalls Pierre.

Also to listen: Guest France – Incidents and violence against caregivers: “We are in a very negative dynamic”

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