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Pandemic (COVID-19) has been blessing in disguise for the people who previously were unable to spend much time with their family members. Prior, because of various types of financial and scholastic commitment, it was very hard for all the family members to spend a week or even an entire day together under one roof. In any case, presently, when the governments of different countries have taken radical and exacting measures to battle this corona virus, which incorporate overwhelming a lockdown and shutting down all the educational institutions, the families are getting enough time to spend with their loved ones which is surprisingly positive turn of events. But, this is not the scenario for medical professionals; the case is just the opposite of it. Medical professionals are risking their lives in battling with the pandemic, sacrificing their family time and serving patients 24 hour to dodge the vicious virus that has made everyone’s life miserable.  Yet, a rising epidemic has always levitated the medical professionals despite of their dedication and commitment towards patient. The viral and rising epidemic existing over a century in medical professionals is; VIOLENCE AGAINST MEDICAL FRATERNITY.

Violence (savagery, brutality, ferocity) against medical professionals at their work environment is certifiably not a new phenomenon. According to various evidences and study, working in a health institution is 16 times more risky than working in another business in terms of being exposed to violence. Violence in the health field is more than any other work places and it is less taken into account. Despite of knowing this fact, health care workers selflessly are dedicated to serve for people with lots of sacrifices. Brutality in health care workers is from patients, their family members, or from another person. It very well may be a verbal or social danger that represents a hazard to health care workers, a physical assault, or a sexual assault. Savagery that health care workers are presented to in a work environment can be: physical, mental (psychological), badgering (harassments), and threats.

Violence against health care workers is both a national and a worldwide issue. Many studies have cited violence against health care workers as rising and viral epidemic. A study conducted   in Canada showed  the recurrence of emergency service employees being presented to violence at any time is 60%; 76% of workers are presented to verbal savagery and 86% to physical danger or assault. In a similar report, 73% of the health care workers dread of patients since they are presented to violence. As indicated by an overview directed by the British Medical Association in 2008, over the most recent 1 year 33% of doctors were assaulted physically or verbally; however, the greater part of the doctors didn’t report this. Another study directed on emergency nurses in Iran revealed 91.6% of the nurses reported of verbal violence and 19.7% were presented to physical savagery in the previous year. A study carried in Jamaica in 2005 where 832 health care workers participated, 38.6% was presented to verbal savagery in the previous year and 7.7% were presented to physical violence. In a cross-sectional examination held in the US in 2011on the doctors working in the emergency department, 78% of doctors were exposed to one or other demonstration of brutality in the previous year, 21% were exposed to a couple of sorts of savagery, 75% detailed verbal violence, and 21% reported violence. In a study conducted in psychiatric clinics in Australia, nurses were exposed to more violence than any other health care workers. Nepal remains no exception in this matter. A study conducted at Baglung in 2015 showed two-thirds of health care workers (64.9%) reported exposure to at least one type of violence in the previous 12 months where physical violence was 11.3%, verbal-59.8% and sexual-11.3%.

Similarly a study conducted in Pokhara (2017) revealed 64.5% nurses experienced some type of violence in the last six months at their workplace. The proportion of verbal violence was higher (61.5%) compared to the physical (15.5%) and sexual violence (9%). There are numerous situations when a patient expires on then the patient’s family members begin accusing for health care workers carelessness over the treatment that claim probably won’t be valid. They never look for lawful activity, rather they seek after for budgetary pay. There has been theory this has prompted a composed wrongdoing by some artful gatherings of individuals who make an arrangement with patients’ family to share the advantage. This is only few studies highlighted here but there are thousands of papers related to violence against health care workers and those figures are alarming.

An article in Health Science Journal (2014) revealed that brutality against health care workers in Nepal as one of the principle reasons Nepali doctors and nurses leave the nation to look for business/employment abroad.

Today everyone is united to fight the battle with the present pandemic. The health care workers are sacrificing everything for winning the war with COVID-19. With lack of PPE, knowing the risk of getting the virus health care workers hasn’t backed out from their duties. Yet, stigma and violence hasn’t left them amidst of their hard work in order to ensure the survival of the people.

Exhausted medical professionals in Nepal are now increasingly fighting on a whole new front in the COVID-19 battle: stigma. Completely under the hold of the worldwide pandemic, the nation is detailing instances of cases of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, on the frontline of the battle, being disregarded by others because of a paranoid fear of being infected. This incorporates the danger of being ousted from their own apartments and general ostracism. Numerous health care workers have been approached to empty their rents by their landowners as they believe that health care workers remaining at their homes may make them progressively susceptible to COVID-19

The stigma and pandemic is not only the battle the health care workers are battling with, the most vital and rising epidemic; violence is the every time battle they are tackling with. Recently the attacks on health care workers of Nepal Medical College, Dankot health post and Quarantine of Baraiya mosque, Rautahat is the most dreadful news for the health care workers. Their sacrifices are rewarded with physical and verbal abuse. A meme stating that if the corona virus was first encountered in Nepal instead of China, then the citizens would assault the health care workers for people dying from simple common cold and fever was made viral in social media 3 months ago. Well this meme is turning into reality in the recent days. It is important for the government and people to understand that this violence on health care workers will severely impact the next generation.

There is massive obligation of patients, their family members and society everywhere to prevent this brutality. Debates among patients and health care workers are not to be figured out through violence, however in a socialized society, there are roads of contest redressal which ought to be utilized. Present day medication is neither modest nor 100 percent compelling in curing the malady in all cases. There ought not to be under-expectation on the result of the treatment in a genuine case. A few patients will make it, a few patients won’t. This ought to be plainly comprehended. There should be an understanding that vandalism and brutality in hospitals is a criminal offense and any humanized society ought to have low resistance for such appalling acts. Scarcely social leaders are believed to denounce such savagery today, and shockingly now and then they attempt to legitimize the circumstances.

Media is also responsible to reduce the violence against health care professionals by not sensationalizing the news. The diagnosis of patients in some of the cases continues to be refined with the new evidence through investigations and knowledge because diagnosis of patient basically is a hypothetico-deductive procedure. Nonetheless, whatever the diagnosis is, the management of patient for the most part incorporates such vulnerabilities or uncertainties into record and treatment proceeds. It is duty of media to understand these uncertainties and not to lead to any kind of misleading headings and information.

Being a health care workers implies withstanding an immense obligations, comparatively, responsibilities additionally must be borne by patients and their family members, hospital authorities, political parties , law maintaining departments, media and government to see that health care improves and brutality against health care workers is emphatically managed. The government should strictly take action and prevent such type of ferocity.

There are various incidents that have not come to limelight regarding the verbal violence a nurse have to face on day to day basis, yet it is always overshadowed. I, being a nurse, myself have many times faced verbal violence from patient parties and these incidents have adversely affected me psychologically. Be it a nurse, a doctor, paramedics or any other health care workers, they deserve a dignified work environment. To the government, political parties and to the citizens, save medical fraternity and stop the violence against them or else citizens will die from simple diarrhea to complex cancer. COVID-19 has changed the way we look towards our life, medical professionals are trying to bring the normalcy and in the midst of this, the viral epidemic; violence against health care workers is rising. Let them deal with only the pandemic (COVID-19) not with the rising epidemic (VIOLENCE).

(Dahal Acharya is an Nursing Lecturer in Adult Health Nursing.)

क्याटेगोरी : English

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