Degraded nurses more likely to leave for better job: study

Nurses said objections to degrading treatment were disregarded.
Nurses said objections to degrading treatment were disregarded.

A small study of Iranian nurses examined a troubled group: Nurses who leave because of threats or poor treatment by other staff.

Researchers interviewed nurses affiliated with Tabriz and Urmia Universities of Medical Sciences in Iran to examine how a sense of dignity influences practitioners. Participants were asked to describe experiences where they were threatened or mistreated by patients or fellow hospital staff members.

Nearly all of the 21 nurses who participated in the study reported being disrespected and having their dignity attacked while on the job, according to researchers. Nurses also said objections to the degrading treatment were disregarded. 

The three main areas that created a desire to switch jobs included having a lack of professional pride, working in an oppressive environment and the suppression of progressivism, according to the survey. Physician dominance, discrimination and lack of appreciation were among several other specific experiences nurses reported facing. More than 75% of the nurses who responded to the survey said they were dissatisfied with the way society perceives the profession. 

Nurses said increased respect among healthcare workers, preservation of independence and an improvement of social status in hospitals would all promote retention.

The analysis appeared on SAGE Journals' Nursing Ethics website in late June.