The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 52 percent of all workplace violence incidents recorded are in health care.
Definition of workplace violence: An act or threat of violence involving an explicit or implicit challenge to personal safety, well-being or health, and/or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs within health care facilities.
Workplace violence includes the following:
The threat or use of physical force, sexual assault, harassment or intimidation against a caregiver or employee that results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in, injury, psychological trauma or stress, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury.
An incident involving the threat or use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, including the use of common objects as weapons, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury.
According to The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are four types of violence that nurses or healthcare workers might face in their work environment:
Criminal Intent. The perpetrator has no relationship with the victim, and the violence is carried out in conjunction with a crime.
Customer/client. The most common health care environment-based assault, the perpetrator is a member of the public with whom the nurse is interacting during the course of their regular duties.
Worker-on-worker. Commonly perceived as bullying, in these instances the perpetrator and victim work together – though not necessarily in the same role or at the same level.
Personal relationship. In these incidents, the victim has been targeted as a result of an existing exterior relationship with the perpetrator, with the violence taking place in the
***The ANA stated it best that the nursing profession will no longer tolerate violence of any kind from any source. All registered nurses and employers in all settings, including practice, academia, and research must collaborate to create a culture of respect, free of incivility, bullying, and workplace violence.
**This statement articulates the American Nurses Association (ANA) positions to cyberbullying incivility and workplace violence with regard to individual and shared roles and responsibilities of registered nurses and employers. Employers have a responsibility to create and sustain a culture of respect, free of incivility, bullying and workplace violence. Registered nurses and employers across the healthcare continuum, including academia, have an ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to create a healthy and safe work environment for registered nurses and all members of the health care team, health care consumers, families, and communities. (ANA, 2019)
Workplace violence tools and resources for health care providers.
***Nurses should consider their workplace EAP program for help in overcoming experiences of workplace violence and bullying in any form.
Cyberbullying, cyberstalking is another form of workplace violence that continues to increase among healthcare providers. The World Health Organization has stated that “bullying is a major public health problem that demands the concerted and coordinated time and attention of health-care providers, policy-makers and families”
According to StopBullying.gov, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.