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Stop Workplace Violence Against Nurses

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.

Med League provides medical expert witnesses to trial lawyers. Please call us at (908)788-8227 or contact us today to discuss your next case.

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