Workplace Violence Trend

Occupational Violence

Occupational violence refers to any sort of emotional or physical abuse that occurs in the workplace. It can vary from physical assault and threats to verbal abuse and even murder. Workplace harassment can affect visitors, consumers, clients, and employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), around two million Americans claim to have experienced workplace violence on a yearly basis, with many cases going unnoticed. The expression of workplace violence has become a major worry for employees and employers worldwide in practically all industries (Huang & Glenn, 2016). The purpose of this article is to investigate workplace violence in nursing. It will provide evidence on the degree of violence at the workstation and also discuss the impact of this issue on the professional nurse.

Violence Trend

Nurses are some of the frequent targets of the workplace violence because of several reasons: they spend most of their time with patients and families, they form part of the largest sector of the healthcare industry, and in many cases, and they are most likely to be women. The emergency section is a common area where violence is most likely to occur. Some of the factors that contribute to violence in the emergency rooms include delayed pain medication and long waiting time, as well as the population of patients who are prone to mental illness, substance abuse, and cognitive problems. Most nurses are directly involved because they come into direct contact with patients (Park, Cho & Hong, 2014). The nursing department has unique cultural features that might contribute to acceptance or underreport workplace violence. For instance, a nurse feels ethical duty and professionals 'do not harm' to patients. Some will put their health and safety at risk just for the sake of patients, and many healthcare professionals consider workplace violence to be part of their job ("Preventing Workplace Violence," 2014.)

Impacts of the Issue

Any form of workplace violence undeniably affects those nurses who are directly involved. But the impact spills over to other stakeholders, executives, clients, coworkers, and even the community. There are direct losses that relate to legal fees, workers compensation, medical bills, as well as the indirect losses reflected in negative publicity, loss of morale, and the diminishing productivity among the nurses - all these factors have the ability to damage the entire healthcare's reputation in the long run. The impact is always intensive in many cases and can carry a huge cost (Yoder-Wise, 2014).

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Both the state and federal laws demand that employers should make reasonable effort to provide nurses with a safe work environment. That responsibility includes taking the necessary steps that aim at reducing the instance of violence. State agencies have issued guidelines to the employers and healthcare operators on the different forms of violence ("A call for action," 2017). The instructions enable the organizations to fight against violence. In cases where employers fail to honor these guidelines, they might be held liable for negligence. The state and federal discrimination laws compel the employers to take prompt actions in case harassment occurs and implement the harassment policies.


The healthcare institutions should take the responsibility of training nurses on how to avoid different workplace situations that might result in violence. The Clear system can also be set up to deal with any aggressive behavior before it negatively turns into violence. The former patient's records can also be used to assess their history of abuse and violence so that nurses know how to handle them. All healthcare institutions have the responsibility of formulating the systematic procedure of investigation of all forms of abuse and can come up with an absolute measure that will prevent any future violent encounter.


Huang, J., & Glenn, L. (2016). Measurement of Workplace Violence Reporting. Workplace Health & Safety, 64(2), 44-45.

Park, M., Cho, S., & Hong, H. (2014). Prevalence and Perpetrators of Workplace Violence by Nursing Unit and the Relationship Between Violence and the Perceived Work Environment. Journal Of Nursing Scholarship, 47(1), 87-95.

Preventing Workplace Violence: The Occupational and Environmental Health Nurse Role. (2014). Workplace Health & Safety, 62(2), 48-50.

Workplace violence toward mental healthcare workers: A call for action. (2017). Journal Of Injury And Violence Research, 9(2).

Yoder-Wise, P. (2014). Leading and managing in nursing. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Mosby.

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