Employees in the healthcare sector are subjected to rape

Betinna Petersen was, as she herself describes it, a 'tough guy', when she worked as a charge nurse in psychiatry. - I've witnessed suicide attempts and se

Ann McDonald
Ann McDonald
03 February 2020 Monday 22:00
66 Reads
Employees in the healthcare sector are subjected to rape

Betinna Petersen was, as she herself describes it, a 'tough guy', when she worked as a charge nurse in psychiatry.

- I've witnessed suicide attempts and self-harm and violence and threats in both the inpatients from and directed to the staff, and I have seen colleagues be turned to blood of psychotic patients, says Bettina Petersen.

- When you are in psychiatry, it becomes abnormal usually. You get used to have his boundaries exceeded again and again. Until the day the cup overflows.

today is Bettina Petersen førtidspensionist and suffer from both PTSD and 'work-related overbelastningsreaktion'.

It was an attempted rape of a patient in 2015, that broke me, she says to Ekstra Bladet.

Her story can be read here: See also: Violence against health care workers - I was subjected to attempted rape.

Both the Danish Sygeplejeråd and the medical association tells that the attempted rape and consummated rape to occur.

- fortunately It is not often, it seems, but yes, it is, unfortunately, something we experience, tells Anni Pilgaard, vice-president of the Danish Sygeplejeråd.

- It should not happen. Think about going to work and be at risk for rape. It is completely and utterly unheard of, she says.

The same tells Lisbeth Lintz Christensen, chief physician and member of the medical association.

- I was even involved in a matter as a union representative where an employee was raped by a relative down in the corridor system, when she was on the way to a patient in another department. It was very, very violent and affected us all.

- In day to avoid many female employees still have to use the corridors under the hospital. Especially if they are alone, says Lisbeth Lintz Christensen from the medical association.
Bettina Petersen live close to the beach. It is one of the only places she can find peace after violent experiences as an employee in psychiatry. Photo: Linda Johansen
Both of the associations says that there are episodes that lead to sick leaves, and that there are occasionally employees that never return to the Health sector after a voldsepisode or recurring threats.

- The very serious cases where we're talking rapes, kicks, fists in the face and attacks with the knife, happens fortunately more rarely, but you must not underestimate how uncomfortable it is, if a man is in the affection threatens you personally and says that he knows where you live and what your children are called. And it happens, unfortunately, relatively frequently, says Anni Pilgaard, vice-president of the Danish Sygeplejeråd.

Both of the associations, explaining that the violent episodes related to patients and relatives often are in crisis. But it can also act on the bustle.

An analysis from 2018 from the Danish Sygeplejeråd have shown that violence against staff has increased by 10 percent, when they were busy.

- the Analysis spoke its clear language. The bustle and delays creates violence and threats, says vice-president Anni Pilgaard and pointing, therefore, to better normeringer can be a solution.

- in Addition, figures showed that the staff often was alone with voldsoplevelsen. And it is risky, she says.

the working environment authority has given several hospitals injunction not to prevent violence and threats in a sufficient degree.

In a påbudsrapport from 2018 says that, among other things, that the employees felt that ”the in some weeks can be subjected to physical and psychological violence from patients or relatives”.

It was a for example, on the ”verbal violations, loud outbursts of anger and dissatisfaction as well as physical violence in the form of f. ex. saliva, kicks and throwing objects”.

Magazine of the Nurse has gained access to the 56 injunction and strakspåbud, which was given to hospital wards on the basis of poor mental working environment in 2018. These can be seen here.

- We go to work to help and save other people, but risk at the same time to get our own corrupted due to threats and violence, says Bettina Petersen, who today suffers from PTSD and is on disability pension. Photo: Linda Johansen
Bettina Petersen is pleased that the studies may be to focus on violence against health care workers. She believes, however, that the real numbers are higher.

- Within my subjects have a tendency not to recognize or report the incidents, she says.

- If you put a frog into boiling water, it jumps up, but if the water heats up slowly, the ends of the frog to die, because the adapt. It is what is happening with your health care professional.

- The first few times you experience violence or threats, being the man startled, but along the way you get used to it. Right up until the cup overflows, she says.

Updated: 03.02.2020 22:00


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