Marlene A. Prost, writing for Human Resource Executive Online, reports that workplace violence is a growing problem for nurses.
She cites reports from Australia and the United States showing that about half of nurses in two surveys had been punched or otherwise assaulted in the past year. It appears the assaults are coming from patients and their families and friends.
However, Prost reports, nursing and hospital associations are taking notice and action, such as “improving security, encouraging incident reports and fighting to strengthen state laws to prevent violence and punish offenders.”
Hospitals are using guidelines from The Joint Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to make nurses safer. They also are training nurses to defuse volatile situations and encouraging them to report incidents, according to the article.
Reporters may be able to find more information through the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Nurses Association also has information about workplace violence. The Joint Commission issued a Sentinel Event Alert in 2008 about intimidating and disruptive behaviors in the health care environment.