Prevention of Violence: Ensuring safety in health care institutions

There is growing concern over the increase in violent incidents in the healthcare workplace and the resulting negative effects of current cultures that tolerate violence towards healthcare professionals. Violence against nurses is a complex and persistent occupational hazard facing the nursing profession. Paradoxically, the job sector with the mission to care for people appears to be at the highest risk of workplace violence. A perception within the healthcare industry that “assaults are part of the job” leads to underreporting of violent incidents and barriers to the institution of effective programs to assess and manage workplace violence. Nurses are among the most assaulted workers in Health Care industry. Too frequently, nurses are exposed to violence – primarily from patients, patients’ families, visitors, and Health care team members too. This violence can take the form of intimidation, harassment, stalking, beatings, stabbings, shootings, and other forms of assault. Psychological consequences resulting from violence may include fear, frustration, lack of trust in hospital administration, and decreased job satisfaction. Violence not only affects nurses’ perspectives of the profession, but it also undermines recruitment and retention efforts which, in a time of a pervasive nursing shortage, threaten patient care.

Author(s): Rajesh Kumar Sharma

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