Workplace Violence Against Nurses

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Workplace Violence and Its Consequences

Workplace violence against health care professionals and nurses can lead to serious consequences for patients and health organizations. Violence at the workplace includes assault, aggression, abuse, and threats to the nurses at work or in situations related to their work. Recently, workplace violence has become a major concern in developed and developing nations. Workplace violence is expensive and has been contributing to a number of deaths of nurses annually. Workplace violence can also be related to serious emotional, personal, physical, and professional consequences. Violence at the workplace against health care providers and nurses may lead to absence from work or quitting the nursing profession. The consequences of exposure to violence are posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, and blaming oneself among nurses. Others include medical errors, nurse nonattendance, reduced job satisfaction, and stress. In extreme cases, violence in the workplace can lead to serious consequences such as disabilities or injuries (Higazee, 2017).

The Importance of Studying Workplace Violence among Nurses

Workplace violence takes place in most, if not all, workplaces. In this research paper, the author has placed the study problem within the context of existing knowledge. Workplace violence is not something new and thus a lot is known, such as its consequences and end results. Its consequences are all similar in all workplaces. The study of workplace violence to nurses will greatly help the nursing field and in ensuring a solution is found to the problem. It is because the major problem is not the violence, rather it is how nurses will deal with it. Once the problem has been addressed, dealing with it becomes easier. It will increase nurses' productivity since there are no threats or harassments, no medical errors due to fear, stress, or tension, and also no absenteeism, thus the more proper provision of health care to the patients.

The Purpose of the Research

The purpose of the research was to study workplace violence, its bad consequences, and actions used to curb it among nurses.

Prevalence of Workplace Violence among Nurses

According to previous researches done, nurses experience more violence at their workplace as compared to other healthcare professions. Studies show that up to eighty per cent of nurses have reported experiencing violence from the patients. The number could be higher because many violence cases are underreported due to threats posed to the nurses. There is inadequate research concerning the consequences of workplace violence and how to curb it in the nursing field (Higazee, 2017). To effectively reduce or control violence in the workplace among the health care providers and in the nursing field, there is a need for more research and data collection to be conducted.

Relevance of References and Theoretical Framework

The references are current because workplace violence is a common problem experienced by most workers in their different workplaces. The range of references used is between 2002 and 2016. Though not a lot of research has been done concerning workplace violence among nurses, the few available are current because workplace violence is becoming a major problem and it is affecting the delivery of healthcare. The article by Higazee was published in 2017, and research was conducted during the same time, thus the research is current.

The theoretical concepts related to the research have not fully defined and elaborated. Some concepts should have been borrowed from other theories from previous researches regarding workplace violence. It means that theories would not only be drawn from nursing but from other disciplines which are affected by violence in the workplaces. Not only nurses suffer from workplace violence, but the researcher focused on nurses. There is no theoretical framework stated in this research. I would suggest the Social Cognitive Theory model because it would have allowed the researcher to understand the behaviors between individuals and their surroundings. The resulting actions would affect both individuals and establish how they interact with their surroundings. A surrounding that is perceived as threatening with violence incidences leads to certain behaviors. Workplace violence in the nursing field is associated with reduced productivity, stress, and decrease in the quality of care. If a workplace is a safe place with low or no violence, job satisfaction would be achieved.

Variables and Research Questions

Variable is anything that has quality or quantity that changes. Independent variables can be defined as any aspect of the surrounding that is investigated for the purpose of studying its influence on the dependent variable. The dependent variable is a variable that depends on factors that are measured. These variables change as an outcome of an experimental manipulation of independent variables. The independent variable in this research is workplace violence while the dependent variables are: job satisfaction, depression, stress, anxiety, and self-blame. The operational definitions of the variables in the research are clearly given. As earlier stated, the variables have quantity or quality meaning that they can be measured in a study or research. In this research paper, the dependent variables are concrete and measurable.

The following are the research questions used in the research of the consequences and control measures of workplace violence among nurses:

  1. What are the penalties for attacker and nurses after the violence?
  2. Why nurses did not report the occurrences of violence?
  3. What are the policies been developed by the employer in the workplace after workplace violence cases?
  4. Which measures to deal with workplace violence are at your workplace? How helpful are they?
  5. What changes took place in your workplace in the last two years? (Higazee, 2017).
The research questions are relevant to the research.

Research Design and Sample

The type of design used in the research is quantitative where a descriptive research design using questionnaires was employed. The research involved a sample total of one hundred and seven nurses from three different hospitals. Inductive reasoning moves from specific occurrences into a general conclusion while deductive reasoning moves from general principles known to be valid to a detailed conclusion. The type of reasoning used in the research is deductive reasoning where general statements were used to form a detailed conclusion. Where analysis of workplace violence consequences was done so as to come up with correct measures to curb or stop violence in the workplace among nurses.

A sample number of a hundred and seven nurses from three hospitals was used to complete the study where fifty-eight were females and forty-nine were males. Most of them are graduates in the nursing field, and where half of them have been in the profession for less than five years. The study targeted three settings: the psychiatric and mental health settings, one elderly home, and the emergency departments. Most nurses were from the emergency departments, then psychiatric and mental health care settings, and finally, the elderly home (Higazee, 2017). The method used in the research was a self-administered questionnaire to be completed in fifteen minutes.

Reliability and Validity of Instruments

The sample chosen by the researcher was probably because the number was not quite high or less thus the right sample number to collect data from. Higazee also had three different settings covering all the nursing workplaces. The study used two instruments to examine workplace violence, its consequences, and the actions used to curb it among nurses. They include the demographic questionnaire and a modified scale. The tools were very reliable and valid because when it comes to something like a questionnaire, it is personal and thus one can freely answer without fearing any threats. Thus the data collected is reliable and true.

Ethical Considerations and Data Analysis

An approval of the research was obtained from the university research board and also ethical approval from the hospitals where data was being collected. The participants who met the required requirements for the research were given the questionnaire so as to help in the research. The researcher gave a detailed reason for the study and assured each of the participants that the information collected would be confidential and it would only be used for the purpose it was not intended for (Higazee, 2017).

The researcher analyzed data using a tool known as Statistical Package for Social Sciences program used for statistical analysis in social sciences. Descriptive Statistics such as percentages and frequencies were used in describing the sample characteristics. These statistics were also used to define the complaints and problems nurses experienced after violence, reasons for underreporting violence occurrences, penalties to the attacker, and the policies and measures used to curb violence in the workplace. After analyzing the data collected, most of the data was presented through the use of tables, but consequences or penalties to the attacker were presented in the form of a graph.

Study Findings and Recommendations

The following were the findings from the study: Around half of the participants were exposed to violence in the workplace for the last twelve months. Thirty-nine per cent of the participants reported no action was taken so as to find out the cause of the violence. Also, participants reported that the penalty of violence was mostly a verbal warning. Generally, most participants were not contented with how violence was handled, and only a third of participants who saw a case of violence in the workplace reported it. The most common reason for not reporting being it was useless to do so as reported by twenty-six per cent of the participants. The most common measure performed to reduce incidences of violence was increasing the staff.

The strength of the study is that workplace violence is a problem experienced by most employees, but no one takes proper actions to control it. The participants were ready to share their experiences because there were ethical considerations in place. The constraint of the study is using a relatively and convenience small sample. Future research requires a larger and more descriptive sample. Workplace violence is a common problem, and the researcher can generally focus on the whole population by studying all employees. By doing so, these new findings can be found and also examine how different employers deal with violence in the workplace.

The study established that most participants were not happy with how violence was handled, the reason for underreporting violence is because no action was being taken, and the most common measure done to reduce cases of violence was increasing the number of staff. Future research should be done to study the efficiency of exact involvements to curb workplace violence. Also, the use of the qualitative method to explore the life experiences of nurses who were subjected to different types of violence. Policymakers should develop specific policies to report violent cases, especially in nursing. The use of specific security measures to reduce the violent cases should also be considered. By doing this, nurses will feel at peace in their workplaces, increasing productivity, thus improving the quality of health care they offer.


Higazee. M, Rayan. A (2017). Consequences and Control Measures of Workplace Violence among Nurses. J Nurs Health Stud Vol. 2: No.3: 22.

October 13, 2023
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Workplace Nurse

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