"One in four nurses has been abused in the workplace. Overall, the likelihood that health care workers are exposed to violence is higher than for prison guards or police officers. The stories nurses tell are horrifying, and all too common. Every day, nurses are stabbed, punched, grabbed, kicked, verbally assaulted, or worse. Perpetrators can be patients and their family members, co-workers, supervisors and managers, and intimate partners.
Two Congressional Pieces of Legislation
United States Congress: Write your Legislator to Take Action in Support of the Workplace Violence Bill
ANA Official Position: American Nurses Association. Position Statement. Incivility, Bullying, and Workplace Violence. July 2015.
Accessible online at https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/nursing-excellence/official-position-
statements/id/incivility-bullying-and-workplace-violenceGovernment Accountability Office (GAO).
OSHA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Occupational violence website. Accessible online at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/violence/default.html
Workplace Safety and Health: Additional Efforts: Needed to Help Protect Health Care Workers from Workplace Violence. March 2016. Accessible online at https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-11
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence to include “violent acts, including hysterical assault, and threats of assault, directed toward persons at work or on duty” Violence can be either verbal or physical.
“An act or threat occurring at the workplace that can include any of the following: verbal, nonverbal, written, or physical aggression; threatening, intimidating, harassing, or humiliating words or actions; bullying; sabotage; sexual harassment; physical assaults; or other behaviors of concern involving staff, licensed practitioners, patients, or visitors.”
• Hospitals manages safety and security risks
• Hospitals collect information to monitor condition in the environment (investigating safety and incidents, including WPV)
• Staff participate in ongoing education and training (WPV prevention program)
• Leaders create and maintain a culture of safety and quality throughout the hospital