The case of nurse Pola Álvarez has made us reflect deeply. As Pablo Neruda said: “there are wounds that, instead of opening our skin, open our eyes”. First, in relation to health institutions, is the Mobbing or workplace harassment so common that we have normalized it? This case has made us reflect on the lack of institutional support in the face of workplace harassment, as well as the lack of teams with constructive leadership, where the presence of abuse has been normalized in health spaces.
Secondly, this fact leads us to ask the following question: should we think about the possibility of requiring psychological tests before entering to study a health career? some have even mentioned asking the latter to university professors and graduates before being hired by hospital services. It is that today there are questions to managers and teams that are complicit in acts of workplace harassment, sometimes out of fear or lack of preparation. If we go further, we also question the lack of public policies and protection laws that are the basis for healthier, supportive institutional cultures and positive leadership.
We could think that there is a lack of relevant sanctions against abuse or mistreatment at work and impairment of the value of the mental health of health professionals, even more, after a pandemic that has left professionals with high numbers of psychiatric medical licenses for depression, stress, post-traumatic stress among others. How have they received support or reparation for the harshness of a pandemic with high levels of death, stress and hard work? These reflections bring us closer to so many problems and hopelessness, however, we must not forget that it exists. a limit between an act of mobbing and a criminal one with the intention of taking life. Some hold the academy or institutions accountable, but while we can all or must improve, let us not forget that values and moral formation are housed first and foremost in our home and on an individual level.
It is not fair to categorize all nursing as if it were part of a professional group that breaks with these limits. There are many nurses of great vocation who continue to train and exercise with love, compassion, empathy and knowledge to care for others in their most helpless moments. To Pola a deep support, strength in these moments, as well as to her family, children and loved ones, that there is justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition for her and her environment.
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