Monday, July 02, 2012

Violence in hospitals

Image : Loupe

For three months I have been visiting a family member in two different hospitals this year and have seen how busy and overworked the staff are and yet they have provided such careful and well thought out attention. The family member is now well and home. My observation was the patients were frail and vulnerable and the staff were good at keeping them comfortable and on the road to recovery. So I found this article deeply disturbing especially when it listed the sorts of things staff had to endure which was further supported and clarified by some of the comments. Adelaide is behaving very badly. Aggressive, violent people are invading our homes, schools, supermarkets, public transport, neighbourhoods. Some of it will be drug and alcohol fueled. How much of this is as a result of these things? We have acted on smoking and gambling but those are not making us fear for our lives and safety. You do see some sick puppies at the shopping centres and that has increased in the last six months. The buses have finally had enough and are taking some action. No one should be going to work and having to put up with abuse and violence. It will stop people doing their jobs. Adelaide behaving badly starts somewhere and it needs to stop. Even if you look upon it from purely a financial point of view - we cannot afford the sick days and long term stress conditions created by constant abuse and violent episodes. It has a cumulative effect. It boils down to culture and leadership. We have had examples of people doing horrible things to children and others and nothing much has happened. We have looked at things humanely but we have set up a victim mentality. We are expected to rationalise the socially unacceptable, destructive and dangerous because the bad behaviour has a reason. We do pretty good at that but it is costing us because we no longer have reasonable behaviour boundaries and then reasonable workplace conditions. This is how you deal with it - get on with it. Okay, so the princes and princesses in the work place in Adelaide have to suck it up. In the end, you have to spit it out because there is only so much you can do and so much you can take. We are loathe to say we want reasonable behaviour and that aggression is not acceptable daily living. We have been through the military and religious influences of a world that went through two world wars. Those codes of behaviour were broken down and everyone gave birth to perfection which has since transmogrified into bubble wrapped people with helicopter and Black Hawk parents. So then they do as they please and when people are the centre of the universe oddly enough they are not all sunshine and light. We need leadership which says very clearly what the boundaries are for everyone at work and in a public place and we are probably going to have to back it up with a hard line until the disruptive influences get the message.

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