Having a peruse of a veterinary nursing site l go on l was shocked to read about a student veterinary nurse, getting assaulted at work. I do not know what practice or where in the UK it is only that it is apparently a small branch surgery. That narrows it down to a few thousand places then.
A client who has mental health issues flung her into a door as a result she is on pain medication, very sore and scared and her state of mind is so demoralised she will be heading for depression and has no work support at all.
It is one thing to get assaulted at work, quite another when your boss not only doesn’t stick up for you but starts to make noises that they feel she may need to leave if she doesn’t feel safe working at that particular branch she obviously “isn’t up to the job”, she has a day or so to decide if she will “behave” and “feel safe”.
Her co-worker is furious that she is pressing charges as the woman is mentally disturbed and should be cut some slack, obviously the woman should be allowed to bash people around.
Apparently the client has a history of verbal abuse and “behaving strangely” but no one had put any warnings on her record and they sent the new student VN (been there a few days) out to deal with her and did not warn her verbally about possible danger despite the other staff knowing the client.
The customer has been back in to threaten the student VN and the student’s co-worker sent the student out the back and spoke to the woman. She assured the woman all charges would be dropped. I understand the student when informed afterwards said no way.
The student is scared, emotionally wrecked and physically painful but determined to make a go of it. Training places are like hens teeth they have her over a barrel, if she leaves it will probably be a long time before she can get into another training practice in her area. Added to that in this age of job losses she can not guarantee getting any job anywhere.
On the thread of sympathy to the student and anger and outrage towards whoever her practice manager/owner is that to the student’s knowledge nothing had gone into the accident book or been reported to RIDDOR. As you can guess both of those were high priorities for her to help cover her back. It turns out that until she asked for it to go into the accident book thanks to many site members advising her there was no accident book.
There are not many physical assaults on veterinary staff but there is a lot of verbal abuse towards us. Us being veterinary nurses, receptionists, students etc. Not so much verbal abuse to vets.
The attitude from the management in the post above regarding staff security is not untypical in the veterinary world though where all too often staff are seen as expendable and not worth protecting.