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Violence against nurses and its impact on stress and productivity.

Gates DM; Gillespie GL; Succop P
Nurs Econ 2011 Mar-Apr; 29(2):59-66
Workplace violence is a major public health concern that has received growing national attention. Recent media attention to school and workplace shootings raised the level of civic consciousness regarding the adverse effects of violence. Most Americans know the phrase "going postal" indicates an employee who becomes hostile at work. According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, an estimated 1.7 million workers are injured each year due to assaults at work (Duhart, 2001). However, much of the public's focus on violence is on occupational environments that are exclusive of health care sites. And while the homicide rate against health care workers is lower than other establishments, the assault rate remains the highest (Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS], 2007). In 2006, the BLS reported 60% of workplace assaults occurred in health care, and most of the assaults were committed by patients (BLS, 2007). Health care support occupations had an injury rate of 20.4 per 10,000 workers due to assaults, and health care practitioners had a rate of 6.1 per 10,000; this compares to the general sector rate of only 2.1 per 10,000. As significant as these numbers are, the actual number of incidents is much higher due to the gross underreporting that is related to the persistent perception assaults are part the job.
Health care; Health care personnel; Medical personnel; Nurses; Nursing; Health hazards; Injuries; Humans; Behavior; Mental processes; Physical reactions; Psychological reactions; Public health; Job stress; Environmental stress; Emotional stress; Stress; Task performance; Work performance; Work environment; Demographic characteristics
Donna M. Gates, College of Nursing, 3110 Vine Street, University of Cincinnati, Academic Health Center, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0038
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Nursing Economic$
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University of Cincinnati
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division