Patient Violence Towards Nursing Personnel

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Violence in all its forms has increased dramatically worldwide in recent decades (Balamurugan, Jose & Nandakumar, 2012). According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) report, nearly two million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year (2011). Among those at highest risks for violence in the healthcare setting are nurses, social workers and psychiatric evaluators (OSHA, 2011). In the healthcare setting, physical assault is almost exclusively committed by patients (Balamurugan et al., 2012). Moreover, nurses have the highest rate of violent attacks out of all healthcare workers (Howerton Child & Mentes, 2010); the main reason being that nurses are alongside the patients 24-hours a day, are usually the most available caretakers and are the frontline staff members dealing with patients and their relatives whereas psychiatrists, social workers and other healthcare providers only visit from time to time (Yarovitsky & Tabak, 2009; Rowe, 2012; ALBashtaway, 2013).
Nurses are frequently reluctant to report violence for different reasons, including fear of getting blamed for having provoked the incidents and labeled as troublemakers, retaliation by employers, concern about their competence being questioned, assumption that violence is just an occupational hazard, and misconception that only visible physical injuries are reportable (Rowe, 2012). Worker risk factors for workplace violence include gender, age, years of
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