Work Place Violence makes nursing stressful

by Angela Brooks


People have never stopped amazing me with their behavior. I have witnessed lots of behavior from clients that come for help and it is expected; Nothing about that shocks me. However, when you are teaching someone new to work with clients that have documented issues that need help and they appear to have more personal issues than our clients. It does cause me to stop and shake my head.

Standing in a classroom attempting to teach a group of adults the skills they need to work with dangerously mentally ill clients who have nothing to lose by hurting the staff. Even though we are not listed as “hazard” everything that goes on under the roof says we are. I do not need a piece of paper to tell me that I work in an environment that is dangerous just walking down the hallway.  Which causes me to get frustrated listening to the high school chatter that causes me to stop my lecture to call someone down for talking.

Vampire Energy Suckers

People who bring all their personal issues to their job – brings negative energy with them. It fills the room like a dark cloud that infects the people around them. It only takes one…who will infect the person beside them…who infects the person beside them and before you even know what happened the room is infected with negative attitudes, grumbling, and disruption.

I am living prove this week that I cannot over dose on Stress Essential Oil or Valor. In the beginning stages of the dark cloud that started taking over the classroom I began inhaling stress oil to keep my brain clear and in thinking mode – and valor for the continue strength to stand as the authority in the room.

I have to wonder when someone applies to work with the mentally ill – what was the reason they came to work with that group of people. I have had people share with me that they have such an abuse history that they thought they could relate and help someone – or they themselves have a mental illness and feel they could understand how they feel and would be a good person to serve the mentally ill.Some of those people are correct and provide great value to those that take care of.

Truly sometimes it makes me roll my eyes back in my head and slap my forehead with my hand.

People who are in the mental health system are seeking help! They have been court ordered – they have jail time to serve – they have tested the street drug world – or had a life trauma happen that has caused a break down. The last thing they need is someone who has a hard time getting themselves together in the morning just to clock in on time.

To finish off a new beginning with potential staff – the dark cloud begins to rain on the room and bickering begins among adults seeking employment.  My mouth falls open and I once again crack open the “stress essential oil” and apply to both wrist and the back of my neck as people begin to threaten each other with violence. The only semi-professional comment I could make was “What the hell?!”

Just as we would do on the units with someone who feeds off the energy of other people – remove the source that provides the negative energy. It is amazing how that allows the milieu to return to a level of teaching.

This happens among nursing staff in tight nursing offices – where the stress of patient care begins to brew and a dark cloud will form. Removing the energy suckers will allow the atmosphere to clear and good patient care can return. The last thing I need to do as a educator is fill that space with more drama.

Ok – I will step down off my soap box – applying valor and inhaling the aromatherapy. Stress in nursing begins with drama in the workplace, the last place it is needed.

Learn more about Angela Brooks who was once a burnt out nurse *Click here *

Angela Brooks is a retired nurse after 25 years in mental health. She used her lunch breaks to build her business part time on the night shift. Her car became a mobile university as she listened to business training, coaching calls on CD and phone webinars. She blogged while she was at her sons' baseball practices.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 DeborahPenner February 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

Wow …it is so amazing and encouraging to me that you are choosing to remove your stuff from the atmosphere I had to go away for a few moments to regroup because I felt so much anger on behalf of the professionals you are frustrated with … truthfully, because if the nurse educator that hated what I was carrying around had thrown me away I would have missed out on so very much. Instead,she pulled me aside and spoke to me about the effect my attitude was having on the rest of the learning group and I had an opportunity to adjust. I WAS the dark cloud in her room. 3 years later, my body still broke … and I am no longer practicing nursing in the way that I had been.

Nurses often eat their young and throw away the broken among them for a variety of reasons. The truth is that we all come into the profession with our own stuff. our own ideals (which btw we think ALL nurses everywhere should share) and our own unconscious stuck core negative beliefs. Care givers … and nurses are caregivers … go into a care giving field with ALL of our stuff … addressed and unaddressed ( what is unaddressed is often unaddressed because we don’t even know it is there) Fortunately for the mental health end of nursing, it scared me silly … I wanted no part of lockdown units … I admit … I think I was afraid that I would land in one. That fear is now gone!

I guess I want to say to you thank you for what you have done and thank you for knowing when to say when !!

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