J. (Jacqueline) den Engelsman has been working at the NU'91 Union for Nurses since 2005. She negotiates collective labour agreements and is a national union director of mental healthcare, care for the disabled and hospitals. Her particular interest lies in preventing workplace aggression and advocating concrete measures to promote a healthy and positive work environment.
Why do you support this study?
The occupational group we represent, especially nurses on mental healthcare wards, are the first to encounter aggression and violence, and they are also the people facing it most frequently. They work closely with patients and are, therefore, 'in the direct line of fire'. We are not exactly sure how many cases and which forms of aggression are involved. The problem has tended, therefore, to have been trivialized in the past. Our members inform us that the problem is bigger than just a ‘number of incidents'.
Through interactions with the field we have noticed that there is a considerable amount of bias against filing a report with the police. Due to previous disappointments care providers no longer report every incident involving aggression to their employer.
We have been advocating in-depth research for some time and are pleased to have the opportunity to cooperate in this VU initiative. Based on the outcomes of the study, we hope that we, as a professional association, will be able to tailor our measures and better steer the reporting of incidents to employers or the police.