Caring for victims of domestic violence is associated with some challenges because “many cultures maintain beliefs, norms and social institutions that legitimize and therefore perpetuate the violence” (Angelo, Prado, Cruz, & Ribeiro, 2013, p. 585). According to Angelo et al. (2013), to treat a victim of domestic violence, a nurse should have appropriate skills and knowledge. Moreover, she or he should be able to abnegate the feelings inherent in the given problem. The past experiences of family violence certainly allow nurses to become aware of the nature and processes involved in these situations. Nevertheless, they can as well not help healthcare practitioners stay objective and make them easier to give in to emotions.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
Angelo et al. (2013) state that “everyday contact with violence…awakens in the nurse a state of alertness, which mobilizes him/her to identify warning signs to detect the violence” (p. 587). Thus, past experiences may substantially assist in suspecting an event of violence because the nurse will know the symptoms and particular behaviors a patient can have when exposed to abusive relationships at home. Another positive effect of having the experience of domestic violence is that it is easier for the nurse to be more empathic to patients with the given problem. The first-hand experience can help develop the right communication tactics because the nurse will likely understand that this topic should be discussed with great caution.
The awareness of the complexity of the issues involved in domestic violence can also produce multiple negative feelings in the nurse, which can adversely affect his or her performance. Angelo et al. (2013) observe that a nurse can feel intimidated and helpless because it is not always possible to help a victim. Thus, the nurse should try to protect herself from such emotional states as they may interfere with his or her protective behaviors.
Angelo, M., Prado, S. I., Cruz, A. C., & Ribeiro, M. O. (2013). Nurses’ experiences caring for child victims of domestic violence: A phenomenological analysis. Texto & Contexto − Enfermagem, 22(3), 585-592.