Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Shocking reports of abuse by nursing students

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Unfortunately, these days, few are shocked at stories of abuse of patients and unprofessional behaviour by nurses. These incidents clearly have a profound effect on the abused and on those around them and an article from a Scottish study by Rees et al. (2014) titled  ‘My mentor kicked a dying woman’s bed. . .’ Analysing UK nursing students’ ‘most memorable’ professionalism dilemmas, and published in JAN, investigates this.

The point of the paper was not to catalogue abuse but rather to find out what nursing students see that provided dilemmas for them, the effect this had on them and to suggest how this could be handled better. However, some of what is catalogued in the paper is truly shocking, ranging from physical abuse (slapping a patient's penis), outbursts of frustration (kicking a patient's bed) and verbal abuse (mocking patients with dementia). Inevitably, the article will be read as much for these as the main substance of the paper.
Clearly, these incidents have a profound effect on nursing students and the authors suggest that they should be given 'safe space' to share these professional dilemmas, to discuss them and to help then know how to deal with them in future.

Reference

Rees CE, Monrouxe LV, McDonald LA (2014) ‘My mentor kicked a dying woman’s bed. . .’ Analysing UK nursing students’ ‘most memorable’ professionalism dilemmas Journal of Advanced Nursing doi:10.1111/jan.12457


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