Having nurses with a personal history of domestic violence committed against them to treat victims of violence is not a question of efficiency, but rather a question of medical and working ethics. On the one hand, it is clear that a nurse who suffered first-hand from such actions would be more empathetic and understanding towards the patient, which could potentially have an improvement in the recovery rate and the overall healthcare outcome.
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On the other hand, domestic violence often leaves mental scars and psychological traumas that would not completely heal, even after a long period of time. Having nurses that have been mistreated in the past face the consequences of domestic abuse towards another person could, potentially, be very stressful to them from a psychological perspective, as well as potentially trigger incidents of PTSD (Natan, 2010).
Another problem related to having nurses with experience of domestic violence treats patients revolves around personal privacy. It is impossible to know whether or not a nurse has been a victim of domestic violence without violating said privacy. Doing so would not only divulge important personal matters to senior hospital staff, who would be tasked with assigning nurses to victims of domestic violence, but also to the rest of the nursing collective, thus painting the victims in an unfavorable light. It is a reason why studies related to this particular topic are so few and far between – the cons outweigh the pros by a large margin, and the necessary precautions made to protect the privacy of the patient and the nurse make the process even more inefficient and cumbersome (McFarlane, 2010).
McFarlane, A. (2010). The long-term costs of traumatic stress: Intertwined physical and psychological consequences. World Psychiatry, 9(1), 3-10.
Natan, M. B. (2010). Knowledge and attitudes of nurses regarding domestic violence and their effect on the identification of battered women. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 17(2), 112-117.