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  • Writer's pictureThe Shift Change Podcast .

Episode 8: Violence in Healthcare

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

About the Episode

Violence in the healthcare space is something that nurses face regularly. Violence takes place in many forms including situations where nurses are subjected to verbal and physical abuse from patients, violence from coworkers (including bullying), and also more pervasive systemic violence like racism and sexism. Nurses are not always victims. At times nurses may be the ones perpetrating violence, for example in horizontal violence towards other nurses, and in enacting policies and practices that can traumatize patients, for example in the mental health system. Incidents like the blatant racism that nurses perpetrated against Joyce Echaquan and violent incidents toward older adults in long-term care settings are all too common. In this episode Claire and Michelle talk with Trish Dribnenki-Pennock, to get some insight, advice and anecdotes of violence in healthcare. Her experience nursing in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside is a valuable perspective for other nurses to ponder questions about causes, effects and necessary changes that can be made to the system to better support patients and nurses by re-thinking attitudes and beliefs about violence, trauma and the role of nurses.

About Trish

Trish Dribnenki-Pennock is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychiatric Nursing. Trish has worked in crisis intervention, care coordination, public health, primary care, inpatient, community, forensic, corrections, sexual assault response, harm reduction and outreach nursing areas providing services for individuals experiencing mental illness, substance use, trauma, and/or a variety of additional psychosocial stressors. Patricia has worked as an Instructor and Clinical Consultant with the Provincial Addictions and Mental Health Professional Development and Concurrent Capability Team within Alberta Health Services.

She was awarded “Registered Psychiatric Nurse of the Year” by the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta in 2013 and was featured in AHS's and in VCH's ezines.

Trish is passionate about building awareness, dialogue, compassion and advocacy for individuals who have experienced trauma and substance use and speaks to her own lived experience: CD Series Oct 2016 - Patricia Dribnenki-Pennock - We Are All Human--We All Have a Story. Harm Reduction is Trish's favorite philosophy, and she learns and lives it every day. Trish has a 26 year old son, Oliver, who is “amazing”, and she and Oliver have learned a lot about life, love, and resilience ever since their home was flooded in the Calgary June 2013 floods.

Currently, Trish works in the downtown eastside community in Vancouver, BC.


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