Nurses in the healthcare system

Nurses play a vital part in the healthcare system. On a daily basis, they deliver their specialized skills while maintaining personal contact with the patients. Constant touch with patients is a crucial part of the healing process. These can serve as feedback sessions for nurses, allowing them to analyze their patients and determine their development, as well as offer appropriate recommendations to the doctor involved (Doby, 2015). Some patients have taken advantage of their proximity to nursing professionals by physically assaulting them. This is a major problem in the health care industry since it demoralizes nurses and other medical staff. Although the cases may have been random, it represents a serious challenge to the whole profession. Some nurses develop fear and intentionally stay away from patients to protect themselves. Workplace violence has therefore metamorphosed into a serious occupation risks that have led to death and serious injuries. In light of these saddening occurrences, the following paper seeks to establish the real causes of work place violence, while seeking to establish the necessary regulations that govern over the issue.

Challenges Facing Work Place Violence

Workplace violence comprises of any assault, aggression directed at another individual on duty. It further comprises of any harassing, verbal abuses that are intended to cause physical and emotional harm to another individual. This acts of aggression are highly prohibited by the law, and some have been classified as criminal offenses. It is believed that workplace violence is prevalence in major industries and more so the health care sector. It is saddening however that despite its prevalence in the health care sector the industry faces several challenges in handling the vice (Speroni,et al., 2014). There lacks a proper channels of communicating this vice in the health care sector. This is further made worse by the inadequate institution reporting policies. This is mainly led by the fact that the healthcare practitioners perceive this violence as usual in their nature of work. There lacks intentionality in the establishment of policies to create efficient reporting of such cases.

According to AnnMarie et al., (2013), nurses downplay the importance of reporting these issues as they feel that doing that will not be helpful. In contrast, some have stated that they empathize with their patient and family members and blame the illnesses for the erratic behaviors. This further made difficult by the fact that there may be no evidence for verbal harassment. The lack of evidence proves to be a big challenge in workplace violence as it becomes challenging to defend legally. Nurses also fear that legally the patients are protected in that they act under the influence of their illnesses.

Staffing is another contributor to workplace violence. Inadequate nurses in hospitals slow the rated of patients contact which may lead to an aggravation of their pain. This makes them angry and abusive making it difficult to attend to them and increasing their ability to flare up. This is further made worse by inadequate security personnel manning the hospital. Security personnel would be essential in handling any attacks on the nurses (Gillespie et al., 2010).

According to the OSH Act employers have a mandate of providing healthy and a safe environment for employees. The employers are supposed to undertake training avail the necessary resources for the safe guarding of their employees. It is the sole duty of the employer to maintain a safe working environment for the employees. The American National of Nurses recognizes the presence of bullying and workplace violence in the nursing profession. It however out rightly condemns the vice citing that enduring abuse should not be regarded as nurse’s job. It calls for its registered nurses, hospital administrators to strive to provide a safe working environment for all of its members. Its statement, however, does not explicitly provide workable solutions in the fight for a reduction in workplace violence (Blando, et al, 2015).

Safety Policies for Preventing Workplace Violence

An employer ought to initiate policies with the goal of eradicating workplace violence. There should be adequate staffing to enhance the quality of service in hospitals. Training and evaluations must be made mandatory for nursing professions. This will equip the different professionals with expertise in handling erratic patients without putting the life at risk. There should be further emphasis on workplace monitoring with the provision of adequate monitoring as well as on-site reporting. This will enhance faster submission of complaints on workplace violence. There is also need for an interdisciplinary approach with the aim of curbing workplace violence (Speroni,et al., 2014). This will ensure the utilization of maximum expertise from different fields. The interdisciplinary approach can be very efficient into the development of workplace prevention program that aims at reducing workplace violence. The program can incorporate safety and health plans with the aim of reducing the violence.

Technological advancement can assist in the reduction of workplace violence. The integration of closed circuit television (CCTV) video surveillance as it is commonly known can further enable the close monitoring of corridors and foyers which contribute to a large extent as the venues for an attack on nurses. Through cooperation with the security department, a full-fledged staffing of the surveillance can be essential in identifying potential threats even before they strike. The employers must always make sure that they all employees are adequately trained and assessed to face verbal or physical abuse (AnnMarie et al., 2013). The team must also be emphasized amongst workers with a goal of embracing unity against violence. It is essential that hospital administrator take this issue with the utmost seriousness it deserves since as this affects the productivity of the nurses.


AnnMarie Papa, D. N. P., Jeanne Venella, D. N. P., & CEN, C. (2013). Workplace violence in healthcare: Strategies for advocacy. Online journal of issues in nursing, 18(1), 101.

Blando, J., Ridenour, M., Hartley, D., & Casteel, C. (2015). Barriers to effective implementation of programs for the prevention of workplace violence in hospitals. Online journal of issues in nursing, 20(1).

Doby, V. (2015). Leadership's role in eliminating workplace violence and changing perceptions in the emergency department. Journal of emergency nursing, 41(1), 7.

Gillespie, G. L., Gates, D. M., Miller, M., & Howard, P. K. (2010). Workplace violence in healthcare settings: risk factors and protective strategies. Rehabilitation Nursing, 35(5), 177-184.

Speroni, K. G., Fitch, T., Dawson, E., Dugan, L., & Atherton, M. (2014). Incidence and cost of nurse workplace violence perpetrated by hospital patients or patient visitors. Journal of emergency nursing, 40(3), 218-228.

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