Health workers who face yelling and abuse all too often as they care for patients have asked for the Dubbo community’s support.
“Intimidating behaviours” including verbal threats, assaults and sometimes stalking on social media make a demanding job all the more difficult.
Nurses and midwives gathered outside Dubbo Hospital on Monday to launch a community awareness campaign against all forms of violence towards health workers and emergency services personnel.
Concerned by the level of violence and aggressive behaviour that continues to occur, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Dubbo Base Hospital branch is seeking community support for change.
It comes after the release of a report into violence against emergency services personnel with 47 recommendations, after an inquiry by the NSW Legislative Assembly’s Law and Safety Committee.
It found overall there was a “significant amount of violence against emergency services personnel each year”.
NSWNMA organiser Katrina Lee reported in emergency departments there were some “intimidating behaviours”.
“So lots of yelling and shouting, certainly some expletives used against staff,” she said.
“Some people have been stalked on social media, which is a problem, very complex.
“We do find situations where staff can be very frightened by some of these allegations made against them.”
Ms Lee reported that at Dubbo Hospital there were security agents on site which was “great” and that some towns had police “24-7” but that that was not the same at all smaller communities.
She said the committee’s recommendation had been for more consultation with on-the-ground staff.
Dubbo MP Troy Grant attended the launch and said nurses were a precious resource who should never be exposed to violence or abuse.
“It’s unacceptable and we need the community to get behind us and send a message loud and clear to everyone that it’s simply not on,” he said.