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, 23 (4), 351-66

Workplace Violence: Are Some Nurses More Vulnerable?


Workplace Violence: Are Some Nurses More Vulnerable?

Cheryl Anderson. Issues Ment Health Nurs.


Workplace violence pervades the healthcare setting. This study describes workplace violence events (WPVE) by type, frequency, perpetrator, and contributing factors and explores the relationship between WPVE and a history of childhood/adult abuse. Sixty-seven randomly selected registered nurses responded to the study. Both closed and open-ended responses were obtained. The majority of nurses experienced WPVE, typically emotional and verbal events. Physicians were commonly the perpetrators. Contributing factors included drugs, poor staffing, hospital location, gangs, easy access to triage, long hours worked, no training, power/control, stress, and negative characteristics of perpetrators. Over half of the nurses reported being victims of childhood or adult abuse; this abuse history was found to influence type (sexual and physical), frequency, and timing of WPVE. In an effort to prevent and reduce the frequency of WPVE, risk assessments of all health care environments should be made, followed with education discussing prevalency, type of WPVE, perpetrators, and contributing factors, including past victimization.

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