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Violence is part of the job say nurses as study shows only 1 in 6 incidents are reported
Date:2/3/2010

Three-quarters of nurses providing private and public care experienced workplace violence, but only one in six incidents were formally reported, according to study published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

The majority (92%) said they had been verbally abused, 69% had been physically threatened and 52% had been physically assaulted. A total of 2,354 incidents were reported to the research team, with nurses facing an average of two to 46 incidents a year.

"Many of the nurses who took part in the research said that they did not report incidents because they felt that workplace violence was just part of the job" says lead author Dr Rose Chapman, from Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia.

The 113 nurses who took part in the study were mainly female, in their early 40s and had been in the profession for between six months and 40 years, with an average service of just under 18 years. Nearly two-thirds worked part-time.

The number and nature of incidents varied depending on what department the nurses worked in:

  • A quarter of the nurses (25%) experienced weekly events, 27% monthly events and 25% one event every six months. The remainder had not experienced any violence.

  • Incidents were highest in the emergency department, where staff reported an average of 46 incidents over the previous year, and in mental health, where the average was 40 incidents.

  • The lowest incidents were reported by midwives (an average of two incidents each) and surgical staff and paediatric staff (an average of four incidents each).

  • 40% of staff had been involved in an incident with a weapon and 3% said it was a weekly occurrence. Weapons included guns (6%), knives (3%) and hospital equipment (32%). Weapon-related incidents were more common in the emergency department (weekly) and mental health (monthly).

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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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