Workplace Violence as a Nursing Care Issue

Nursing Care Issue

The selected nursing care issue is violence in the workplace. This type of violence can be present in several forms, including sexual and racial harassment, as well as physical and verbal abuse. Workplace violence directed towards care providers is associated with several factors, including gender, race, age, and specialty (Kim et al., 2017; Pompeii et al., 2015). Phillips (2016) and Purcell, Shovein, Hebenstreit, and Drexler (2017) report that patients’ relatives are responsible for most cases of violence in healthcare. Thus, the outcomes of workplace violence are adverse and lead to difficulties in recruiting new personnel in the position. They include depression and stress in nurses, along with physical injuries (Wax, Pinette, & Cartin, 2016).

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Measures (Indicators; Data) to Support the Issue in the Setting

  • In mental health facilities, almost 85% of nurses report experiencing some type of workplace violence within the past year (Niu et al., 2019);
  • Workplace violence leads to emotional and psychological distress in up to 55% of victims (Niu et al., 2019);
  • Nurses experience workplace violence globally; the study from Germany shows that almost 95% of hospitals’ employees have experienced verbal abuse, and around 70% have encountered physical aggression (Schablon, Wendeler, Kozak, Nienhaus, & Steinke, 2018).
  • Care providers experience decreased work satisfaction and adverse long-term results on their bodies and spirits (Niu et al., 2019).

Titles of Stakeholders and Their Roles in Improving This Nursing Care Issue

  1. The most important stakeholders that can improve this nursing care issue are top management personnel of medical institutions. This group of staff has a vital role in establishing zero-tolerance policies for workplace violence. Management personnel should also consider the causes of incidents and implement strategies aimed at controlling the prevalence of violence.
  2. Another group of stakeholders is nurse managers that should establish a positive working environment for nursing staff. They should establish training sessions aimed at improving the relationships between staff members. They should also analyze existing nurses’ concerns and perform investigations on potential risks associated with workplace violence. Their role is crucial because they can mitigate potential causes of the issue.
  3. Finally, counselors within the medical institution should be invited to address the problems nurses encounter. They should help care providers to manage workplace violence and cope with its effects, such as depression and stress. Their role in improving the issue is crucial because they can enhance nurses’ mental state and help them to retain work satisfaction.

The Possible Causes of the Nursing Care Issue

As mentioned above, patients’ relatives are commonly responsible for workplace violence (Purcell et al., 2017). In addition, patients and visitors are perpetrators of most cases of physical abuse, while colleagues are attackers in the minority of incidents. Thus, it is possible to suggest a lack of communication between nurses and individuals’ families, members of staff, and patients (Shafran-Tikva, Chinitz, Stern, & Feder-Bubis, 2017). Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, which, in their turn, result in physical and verbal abuse. Another possible cause of violence is the lack of zero-tolerance policies within medical institutions. Finally, the lack of measures aimed to improve the relationships between staff members can potentially be one of the causes of the issue, too. Moreover, this problem can also lead to a lack of respect and trust between personnel (Wang, Wan, Lin, Zhou, & Shang, 2018). Therefore, these factors reveal that it is vital for top management personnel and nurse managers to implement appropriate policies and control the risks associated with workplace violence.


Kim, S., Bochatay, N., Relyea-Chew, A., Buttrick, E., Amdahl, C., Kim, L., … Fehr, R. (2017). Individual, interpersonal, and organisational factors of healthcare conflict: A scoping review. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 31(3), 282–290.

Niu, S. F., Kuo, S. F., Tsai, H. T., Kao, C. C., Traynor, V., & Chou, K. R. (2019). Prevalence of workplace violent episodes experienced by nurses in acute psychiatric settings. PloS One, 14(1). Web.

Phillips, J. P. (2016). Workplace violence against health care workers in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 374(17), 1661–1669.

Pompeii, L. A., Schoenfisch, A. L., Lipscomb, H. J., Dement, J. M., Smith, C. D., & Upadhyaya, M. (2015). Physical assault, physical threat, and verbal abuse perpetrated against hospital workers by patients or visitors in six US hospitals. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 58(11), 1194–1204.

Purcell, N., Shovein, E., Hebenstreit, C., & Drexler, M. (2017). Violence in a US Veterans Affairs healthcare system: Worker perspectives on prevalence, causes, and contributors. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 15(1), 38–56.

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Schablon, A., Wendeler, D., Kozak, A., Nienhaus, A., & Steinke, S. (2018). Prevalence and consequences of aggression and violence towards nursing and care staff in Germany — A survey. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(6). Web.

Shafran-Tikva, S., Chinitz, D., Stern, Z., & Feder-Bubis, P. (2017). Violence against physicians and nurses in a hospital: How does it happen? A mixed-methods study. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 6. Web.

Wang, Y. Y., Wan, Q. Q., Lin, F., Zhou, W. J., & Shang, S. M. (2018). Interventions to improve communication between nurses and physicians in the intensive care unit: An integrative literature review. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 5(1), 81-88.

Wax, J. R., Pinette, M. G., & Cartin, A. (2016). Workplace violence in health care — It’s not “part of the job.” Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey, 71(7), 427–434.

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