Compensation not the answer for care staff who face ‘terror patients’

WELL done to the Psychiatric Nurses Association for standing up for their nurses on the issue of the abuse suffered by their workers in the line of duty.

Will the INO, SIPTU, IMPACT, et al, now decry the abuse the rest of us nurses in A&E, and particularly in the care of the elderly, must endure?

While the general perception is that the highest risk areas for physical and verbal attacks in the health sector are in the psychiatric field, the reality is that a nurse or care worker with the elderly suffering from dementia rarely has a day they will not get at the very least verbal abuse, but for the most part, kicks and blows leaving nasty bruises.

As a nurse, I can personally testify to this. I can also state for a fact I have had times when a care worker/nurse has expressed genuine fear at coming into work because of the terror inflicted by particular patients/residents.

But is seeking compensation the answer? I think not. If all seek compensation, and all are successful, this will only serve to deplete our already farcical funding for the care sector.

The first cuts that will be made will be staff, so depleting our already farcical staffing levels will result in fewer people to look after those perpetrators of the abuse against us in the first place. The usual reason for the abuse is fear, isolation and frustration. By depleting resources, we will only worsen the problem.

Would it not be better for all if funding were put into researching how we can reduce the problem? I’m quite sure one of the solutions would not be that magic word ‘compensation’.

Florence Horsman Hogan

10 Seaview Wood

Shankill

Co Dublin

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