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10th Feb 2023

Irish nurse speaks out about the abuse she faces in work

Kat O'Connor

“I’ve been verbally abused”

An Irish nurse has opened up about the mistreatment she has faced in her workplace.

The INMO has expressed concerns about the abuse nurses face in Ireland’s hospitals.

Nurses have been both physically and mentally abused by people in hospitals.

Speaking to the Oireachtas Health Committee, nurse Sylvia Chambers said she has never experienced aggression as much as she has in recent years.

The nurse works at one of Ireland’s busiest children’s hospitals.

She revealed to the Oireachtas Health Committee;

“I’ve been spat at, I’ve been verbally abused. I’ve been threatened that when I leave work that evening I will be stabbed as I get into my car.

“I have grown men, 6ft 4, towering over me throwing objects at me on a daily basis. I do not feel safe going to work.”

She said that extreme wait times and overcrowding in the hospitals have caused parents to lash out.

“At night-time from 2am onwards, we only have two doctors. Sometimes we could have up to 60, 70 patients waiting at that time with two doctors, it’s not feasible,” she said.

“Parents become very aggressive, they become tired,” she said.

She said that she no longer feels safe going to work because of how she has been treated recently.

She called on the Government to make urgent changes because medical staff are suffering too much.

They need adequate support, as well as an increase in staff.

“In the last 18 months we have had 30 nurses resign from our emergency department alone. We are on our knees when it comes to our staffing levels.”

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