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Workplace violence: A continuing concern of nurses

April 15, 2015
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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The American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Professional Issues Panel on Workplace Violence, Bullying and Incivility is developing a position statement and guidance for registered nurses and employers to assist in combating disruptive and potentially dangerous behaviors.

Based on an ongoing ANA survey of nurses’ health and safety, 50 percent of respondents reported experiencing bullying in the workplace at various levels. Twenty-one percent experienced verbal or nonverbal aggression from a peer, 42 percent from an individual at a higher level of authority and 43 percent were threatened by a patient or his/her family.

“A proactive stance to develop effective workplace violence prevention programs is critical to ensure the safety of patients, nurses and other health care workers.  We must completely dispel the notion prevalent in too many health care organizations, and held by too many health care workers and leaders, that being physically or verbally assaulted is just ‘part of the job,’” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN in a release.

“On the job” assault was identified as one of nurses top three safety concerns in a previous survey.

Although some states have enacted regulations to prevent workplace violence, there are no federal standards at this time.

The ANA’s draft report will be open for public comment through April 30, 2015.