Workplace violence can happen in any industry, but some workers face this type of treatment far more often than others. American nurses are among those who are likely to encounter violence on the job, and incidents of violence directed towards nurses have surged in recent years, making it imperative to address and resolve this issue.

Violence against nurses has a significant impact on the physical and emotional well-being of these professionals. It also compromises their ability to provide quality patient care.

Understanding workplace violence

Violence against nurses can manifest in many forms. It may involve physical assault, such as hitting, kicking, or even using weapons. Verbal abuse, threats and harassment also fall under the umbrella of workplace violence. In some cases, the violence may be sexual in nature, further complicating the matter.

Understanding the underlying causes and triggers of workplace violence against nurses plays an important part in prevention. Factors contributing to these incidents include stress, long working hours, inadequate staffing, and the presence of volatile patients or visitors. Substance abuse issues in some patients can also heighten violence risks.

The consequences of workplace violence for nurses can be severe. Physically, they may experience injuries ranging from minor to severe, sometimes leading to long-term health problems. The emotional toll can also be damaging, resulting in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Addressing workplace violence

Nurses need more training to help them identify potentially violent situations and respond appropriately. This can empower them to defuse tense situations and better protect themselves. Healthcare facilities also need to invest in improved security measures to create a safer environment for both nurses and patients, and they must also establish clear procedures for reporting and addressing workplace violence.

Providing emotional and psychological support to nurses who have experienced violence is also important. Counseling and mental health resources should be readily available.

Per MedPage Today, 57 American nurses experience assault on the job every day, and the majority of them are female. This figure suggests clinics, hospitals and nursing homes must do more to protect these hardworking individuals and keep them in the medical profession. If you are a nurse who has been physically and/or mentally/emotionally injured at work be sure to report that injury to your employer as a workplace injury as your employer has a duty to then report it to their worker’s compensation insurance carrier so you can obtain your benefits for medical/psychological care, lost wages, any permanency in injury, etc.  If your claim is denied, you should contact a competent worker’s compensation attorney for a free case evaluation in order to determine if you are, nevertheless, entitled to benefits.