«Implication for Nursing Practice» - Free Essay Paper
In the recent past, the menace of domestic violence has come into the limelight with evidence proving that it is the leading cause of injury to women and children. In most cases, domestic violence results from one person in the relationship wanting to have more power and control over the other (Latshaw, 2015). Victims may be in courtship, marriage, non-marital, or even same-sex relationships. The violence comes in many forms, for instance, it can be sexual assault, battering, intimidation, psychological torture, or even prolonged isolation in a social set up. The majority of victims of sexual violence are women (Latshaw, 2015). Professional nurses and other health experts have a significant role to play in assisting victims of domestic violence. Nurses have a big role in the care, health promotion, and early intervention to improve the health situation in the society. They are also charged with the responsibility of preventing the occurrence of domestic violence. Cases of domestic violence can vary in terms of handling by professionals who have been through abusive relationships at some points in their lives and those who have never experienced it.
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Nurses who are themselves victims of domestic violence are in a better position to assist women who experience intimate partner violence. The reason for this is that these nurses understand the signs of violence. For instance, they will look for warning signs in their patients like missing teeth, bruises, burns, etc. They also understand the type of questions they need to ask their clients to offer them the help they require. Having gone through the experience of living with an abusive partner, they understand the pain and fears their patients are going through. They can listen to the patient and make comments that will enable the patient to feel free to talk about their experience.
It is easier for nurses who have been through domestic violence to help women who are going through such horrific experiences in their current relationship. Such nurses can share their stories with them and give them useful tips that will help them come out of the relationships that cause them nothing but constant pain. They can encourage their clients to follow their footsteps so as to overcome the menace of domestic violence. Evidence has shown that discussing the topic of domestic violence with patients is a significant step in the nursing intervention to address the problem of domestic violence (Goodman, Banyard, Woulfe, Ash, & Mattern, 2015). Experienced nurses will be compassionate towards patients when asking them questions about their problems. This shows patients that nurses care about them and they understand whatever problems they are facing. It also shows them that domestic violence is a serious medical problem that must be addressed and stopped by all means.
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Nurses who have experienced domestic violence can offer help to their patients by giving them a chance to share their pain. Listening empathically to patients as they disclose their stories is important for nurses during the discussion session. The reason for this is that it reduces the feeling of isolation and gives them relief since the nurse will validate the information and help the patient understand that domestic violence is real and common (Goodman et al., 2015). Patients will appreciate that they are not the only ones going through the pain of abusive relationships. Before considering whether or not nurses have ever experienced domestic violence in their lifetime, it is important to note that the primary role of a nurse is to help patients who are suffering. Nurses are committed to building relationships of trust with their patients. They are also caring, empathetic, and loyal. This gives them a better opportunity to help battered patients get back security and trust they have lost due to the horrific experiences they have gone through in their lives.
Previous exposure to domestic violence also has a positive impact on how a nurse deals with issues of intimate partner violence among patients because they understand that their clients are not to blame for what they are going through. After talking about their experiences with the nurse, patients show appreciation and gratitude by gaining confidence and looking directly into the nurse instead of staring at the floor (Goodman et al., 2015). Based on their previous experiences, such nurses can offer useful suggestions to their patients on how to improve their health and safety.
Nurses who have survived domestic violence are very resourceful because they understand the situation better than those who have never experienced intimate partner violence in their lives. They can educate the patient about serious health effects that result from domestic violence, including psychological and physical harm it can cause in children if the survivor has children. The most difficult part in assisting patients who are experiencing domestic violence is beginning to ask questions (Guthrie & Kunkel, 2015). Many nurses find it difficult to start the questioning session, but for nurses who understand what it feels like to be abused by a loved one, it can be a bit easy. They can begin by telling their story to win confidence of the patient. The nurse can assist patients by providing them with a phone number of a person who can help them get over their problems. Talking to a person who has once been a victim of domestic violence enables the patient to understand that intimate partner violence can happen to any man or woman regardless of class, education level, etc.
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One other positive impact on the practice of a nurse who has once been a victim of domestic violence is that they understand the healing process. They know the steps they took towards ending abusive relationships and the kinds of people who can help them move out. They also know reasons why most people chose to endure abusive relationships. For that reason, they can assist their patients with overcoming their fears of letting go of abusive partners and moving on with their lives. In most instances, people prefer to stay in abusive relationships because they fear losing custody of their children, they have nowhere else to go, and they do not have the financial capacity to provide for children, or because their partners have threatened to kill them if they leave (Murray, King, Crowe, & Flasch, 2015). Talking to a person who is not only an expert, but who has also once walked in their shoes can be helpful because they will guide on how to get help and move on with life.
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Nurses’ previous exposure to domestic violence can negatively affect their practice with victims of domestic violence. The reason for this is that domestic violence is a very traumatizing experience and even though physical injuries will heal and disappear, the emotional damage will last for a very long time (Lantrip, Luginbuhl, Chronister, & Lindstrom, 2015). The experiences that these nurses have gone through can be rekindled every time they hear their patients telling them how they nearly got killed by their partners. This will affect attentiveness of nurses and their ability to help the patient deal with his or her situation. The nurse’s intervention will, therefore, be affected because asking the patient to talk about domestic violence is the most crucial step towards improving their health and security.
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Survivors of domestic violence need time to heal and regain confidence and trust they have lost during the years of experiencing domestic violence. For nurses whose role is to encourage, facilitate, and listen emphatically to the patient, it can be difficult to perform such tasks when they need help to get over their own stress. In case when both the nurse and the patient are victims of violence, a third party is necessary because they both need help to overcome their fears and ensure their safety.
To summarize, previous exposure to domestic violence in the life of a nurse, therefore, has more positive impacts on their practice with victims of domestic violence than the negative ones. Research has proven that talking about the issue of domestic violence is the key to bringing the vice to an end. Communicating with patients about the fact that they are not the only ones who have experienced intimate partner violence is also important. Understanding that they are not the reason for being treated violently by their partners is necessary during the initiation of the healing process. It is crucial for nurses to understand warning signs of domestic violence to assist their patients. Validating the patients’ information and educating them that the issue of domestic violence is a serious public health problem is a significant role played by nurses.
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Nurses should, therefore, seek to get the knowledge of how to handle issues of domestic violence and, above all, they should be empathic listeners who give their patients a chance to express their pains and tell how they feel about the whole situation. Victims are very resourceful when it comes to the issue of intimate partner violence because they understand what they are going through and can even share their feelings and thoughts about the issue. This can be very useful for nurses because they will know the best way to help their clients.
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