News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Breaking the silence about violence in mental health

Breaking the silence about violence in mental health

The impact of violence on mental health nurses is revealed through the experiences of a group of nurses in an article in the June issue of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s (NZNO) magazine, Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, published this week (available here).

The nurses believe there is a culture of silence about violence in mental health. They agreed to speak about their experiences to their professional nursing magazine - to break that silence and to shine light on the problem.

In the article “Assaults leave nurses fearful”, the nurses describe being punched, kicked, stabbed, burnt, choked and verbally abused and threatened. Nurses who felt competent and confident before they were assaulted became fearful and struggled to cope with the physical and psychological effects of the attacks. Their families were also deeply affected. The article is written by an experienced mental health nurse from Christchurch.

Figures gained from district health boards (DHBs) via the Official Information Act show reported assaults by mental health patients on staff more than doubled between 2010 and 2012.

According to the article, mental health is more prone to violence than other parts of the health sector, because of the nature of some kinds of mental illness which can lead to aggressive, irrational behaviour. This can be exacerbated by drug and alcohol use, and other social factors. Working conditions in mental health services can also affect the risk of violence. Nurses are most vulnerable to attacks from patients because they spend the most time with patients and provide most of the front-line care.

Mental health nursing directors told Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand DHBs worked hard to provide safe working environments for their nurses, through ensuring staff numbers and skills were suitable. Staff are also taught how to de-escalate violent situations and how to break away from a patient’s hold.

NZNO provides industrial and professional support to more than half the country’s mental health nurses.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Tauranga Books Festival

Escape to Tauranga for Queen’s Birthday weekend and an ideas and books-focused festival that includes performance, discussion, story-telling, workshops and an Italian-theme morning tea. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news