The Escalating Trend of Violence Toward Nurses

Published:December 17, 2007DOI:
      Nurses care for their patients and envision making a difference in their patient's health status, decision-making abilities, and health outcomes. Health care agencies, typically thought of as “safe” places, now are facing a significant increase in multidirectional acts of aggression from patients and visitors.
      • Clements PT
      • DeRanieri JT
      • Clark K
      • Manno MS
      • Kuhn DW
      Workplace violence and corporate policy for health care settings.
      • DelBel J
      De-escalating workplace aggression.
      addressed “the seriousness of violence in the health care workplace, concluding that it's an epidemic in all societies, including the developing world.” Regardless of a health care agency's size or mission, when unexpectedly confronted with workplace violence, staff members typically are overwhelmed with shock, followed by multiple questions surrounding how the event could have occurred in the safety of the workplace.
      • DeRanieri JT
      • Clements PT
      • Henry GC
      Workplace violence and corporate policy for health care settings (2002).
      The health care setting exceeds all other employment areas in the occurrence of nonfatal assaults, greater than 4 times that of private sector injury rates.
      Emergency Nurses Association
      Nurse safety and issues related to violence in the emergency department and other acute care areas are of primary importance in nursing today.
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      Trish Whelan is Nursing Instructor, Grant MacEwan College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.