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Stop workplace violence against nurses

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Stop workplace violence against nurses

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workplace violence, violence against nurses, assaults of nurses Nursing is a hard profession. It is physically and intellectually demanding. It requires patience, the ability to relate to diverse types of patients, communication skills and flexibility. Multitasking is essential, as is the ability to size up a situation and anticipate the next action that is needed.

Sadly, hundreds of thousands of nurses are victims of workplace violence every year. The statistics are startling and indicate this is a growing problem.

  • Nearly 500,000 nurses are victims of violence in their work sites each year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Nurses in emergency departments and mental health settings are common targets.
  • Every week, between eight and thirteen percent of ED nurses are victims of physical violence, according to a study by the Emergency Nurses Association.
  • Three in four nurses who experienced physical violence reported their hospitals did not respond to the incident.

Nurses who work in facilities where there is a zero tolerance for violence, where reporting violence is required, and prevention strategies are in place, suffer less violence.
New York State has a law on the books that it is a felony to assault a nurse who is on duty.
Some of the environmental modifications that can be made include:

  • Controlling access with doors
  • Having alarm systems in place
  • Installing breakaway glass
  • Enclosing nurses stations on high risk units
  • Using curved mirrors and adequate lighting

Violence against nurses has to be stopped. High risk patients and situations must be identified. Nurses should not have to put their physical safety on the line in order to go to work. Nursing is hard enough, demanding enough, and taxing enough without adding an assault.

Source: The American Nurse, November/December 2010.

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6 Responses to “Stop workplace violence against nurses”

  1. We started this group due to the violence we were having. Many of our nurse and other healthcare workers are getting hurt. We are now taking them to court but is it enough?
    Thank You

  2. We started this group due to the violence we were having. Many of our nurse and other healthcare workers are getting hurt. We are now taking them to court but is it enough?
    Thank You

  3. Hi I am a new graduate male RN and have luckily obtained a position doing some home health. Recently a patient had an altercation with his mother that I was attending to. Several days have gone by and now the patient is calling me asking me to meet him at places I am not familiar with, but each time he calls he leaves no information about whee he is and doesn’t leave a number.

    I have told my employer that the patient is missing visits and that I do not think I can continue to see him as my patient. I do not feel safe and am going to quit should my employer insist that I cater to this young and unstable person’s manipulations. I have documented and filed these missing visit reports and all my employer has said is that the case manager must be contacted and they will see what they can do.

    I am proud of my license and I worked and sacrificed many years and things like relationships to become a benefit to my community. Do I have a right not to subject myself to a dangerous situation like this patient is exposing me to?

    I feel like I have a right not to put myself in a unsafe situation and it seams like this patient is using a sort of “splitting” technique to exert his control over his chronic Dx.

    What do you think?

    • What you are describing would make me nervous. I recommend you have a discussion with your employer before putting yourself in jeopardy.

  4. Hi I am a new graduate male RN and have luckily obtained a position doing some home health. Recently a patient had an altercation with his mother that I was attending to. Several days have gone by and now the patient is calling me asking me to meet him at places I am not familiar with, but each time he calls he leaves no information about whee he is and doesn’t leave a number.

    I have told my employer that the patient is missing visits and that I do not think I can continue to see him as my patient. I do not feel safe and am going to quit should my employer insist that I cater to this young and unstable person’s manipulations. I have documented and filed these missing visit reports and all my employer has said is that the case manager must be contacted and they will see what they can do.

    I am proud of my license and I worked and sacrificed many years and things like relationships to become a benefit to my community. Do I have a right not to subject myself to a dangerous situation like this patient is exposing me to?

    I feel like I have a right not to put myself in a unsafe situation and it seams like this patient is using a sort of “splitting” technique to exert his control over his chronic Dx.

    What do you think?

    • What you are describing would make me nervous. I recommend you have a discussion with your employer before putting yourself in jeopardy.

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