Connecting with Your Safe Place in Nursing

As Nurses, we are faced with challenging scenarios, and it can be difficult to find a safe place, especially when faced with workplace violence.

I recall times in my career where I felt a deep unease in my heart and my gut, because of scenarios like these.

I was a witness as a colleague was attacked as she left a patient’s room. He unexpectedly bolted out of bed and jumped on her back. It happened so fast, there was nothing I could do!

I was side-clocked by an 85 year, whitehaired, little lady as I offered her night time care. I recall feeling violated, and also embarrassed, like how could I have missed the signs? I also never reported it. I didn’t know I could, and how reporting her and the assault could have helped me regain some of my power.

My workplace violence incident left me with a sense of danger and vulnerability for my own safety, and for the security of my colleagues.

Workplace Violence in Nursing is not a new thing

Nurse abuse and workplace violence (WPV) is not a new thing, and yet, when it happens to you, it is startling, and unsettling.

I am thankful the American Nurses Association has stepped up to bring awareness to the ever growing need for awareness and actions needed to #endnurseabuse.

The American Nurses Association’s End Nurse Abuse campaign notes that one out of four Nurses have been assaulted. This is a staggering statistic. They also note that these incidents are underreported.

The ANA also reminds us that abuse is never your fault.

I Will Protect My Own Life

What actions can you take to regain safety after WPV?

And what actions can you take to regain safety after workplace violence has occurred? The following is from a great (printable!) resource from the American Nurses Association’s website.

  • Report the incident
  • Ask for help from your supervisor, or colleague at work
  • Access emotional support
  • Contact employee health
  • Access workers compensation
  • Support colleagues who have been affected by WPV
  • Participate in incident investigation
  • Please care for yourself

Connecting with a Safe Place Mindfulness Practice

Another action step to regain feelings of safety is to explore a mindfulness practice called Connecting with a Safe Place. This is in addition to the above steps and actions, and may help you support your mental wellbeing from a different angle, to create a safe space, for a moment in time.

Of course, this mindfulness practice (you can print a script below) can be used in other scenarios where you’d like to create a safe place for yourself, or for your clients and communities.

Please find a guided mindfulness practice for Connecting with Your Safe Spacealong with a printable script.

Please leave us a comment sharing what else you have done to support yourself and each other from workplace violence.

Nurse Coach Nicole xo

Download Printable Awareness Practice Script

Nicole Vienneau

Nicole Vienneau MSN, RN, NC-BC is a recovering burned-out ICU Nurse.  Through Integrative Nurse Coaching and holistic modalities, she’s on the daily voyage to well-becoming.

Nicole is founder Restoration Room  and Blue Monarch Health, an author, podcast host of the Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION!, holds a board certification in Integrative Nurse Coaching and combines 20+ years of Nursing with 30+ years of fitness, health coaching and energy work to partner with mid-life women and healthcare workers who want to THRIVE!

She loves her husband, her two crazy cats and enjoys being in nature and having fun.

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