0

Over 80% of Nurses Face Workplace Violence, Survey Finds – news today

Share


U.S. nurses reported a surge in workplace violence in post-pandemic times, according to a new survey from the nation’s largest nursing union.

In National Nurses United’s (NNU) poll of 914 nurses, 46% said workplace violence had increased and 82% said they had experienced at least one type of violence at work in 2023.

Additionally, 68% of respondents reported being verbally threatened, and more than a third reported being physically threatened, slapped, punched or kicked, or having objects thrown at them, according to the report.

Only 4% said that workplace violence on their unit had declined in the past year.

The survey was conducted from January to December 2023 via email, text, and in-person, ultimately including respondents in 48 states and the District of Columbia. In total, 80% worked in a hospital setting, 9% in outpatient clinics, 4% in homecare hospice, 4% in skilled nursing or long-term care, and the remainder worked in medical offices, were retired, or were currently not employed as nurses.

In addition to the survey, NNU conducted focus groups in seven states and pulled out examples of the violence witnessed by nurses in 2023.

“I have taken care of our own employees with broken bones, concussions, bite marks, bicep tears,” said one emergency department nurse in Colorado, who called attention to a lack of security measures in her department and slow response times from police.

A nurse in California said that post-pandemic, continued strict visitation policies for COVID patients led family members to “lash out” at staff.

An Illinois-based nurse, meanwhile, recounted an instance where a patient brought a gun into the clinic, despite firearms not being allowed.

“After the gun incident we asked for metal detectors to enter the hospital,” the nurse said. “We were informed by management it is not feasible; cost prohibitive and we are down police in the hospital.”

As a result of these incidents and others, nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents said they experienced “anxiety, fear, or increased vigilance,” while more than one-third considered leaving the profession, and nearly one in five changed or left their jobs.

Overall, 63% of employers provide training on workplace violence, according to the survey respondents. NNU argued that employers “continue to fail” to protect nurses from workplace violence. Their data also showed that only 32% of employers provide a clear way to report incidents, and 30% have staff, including security, available to respond to incidents of workplace violence.

“When employers fail to safely staff units, it increases the risk of workplace violence due to increased wait times, unmet patient needs, and increased stress and moral distress of healthcare staff,” according to an NNU press release.

The report also highlighted that employers come up short in terms of providing ways to mitigate workplace violence, with 42% investigating such incidents and 21% changing practice to help reduce the risk of future incidents. In total, 29% of survey respondents said that their employers reprimanded or blamed the employees for the incidents.

NNU President Jean Ross, RN, said that “employers too often prioritize profits over patient care, including workplace violence prevention measures like safe staffing, violence prevention plans, and training … NNU believes that we need a national enforceable OSHA [Occupational Health and Safety Administration] standard, as detailed in the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (S. 1176/H.R. 2663), to protect nurses, other healthcare workers, and patients from workplace violence.”

  • Shannon Firth has been reporting on health policy as MedPage Today’s Washington correspondent since 2014. She is also a member of the site’s Enterprise & Investigative Reporting team. Follow





Source Link