I do not even tell my partner: Nurses’ perceptions of verbal and physical violence against nurses working in a regional hospital

Dafny, Hila and Beccaria, Gavin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4341-804X (2020) I do not even tell my partner: Nurses’ perceptions of verbal and physical violence against nurses working in a regional hospital. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29 (17-18). pp. 3336-3348. ISSN 0962-1067


Aims and objectives
To examine nurses’ perceptions of physical and verbal violence perpetrated by patients and visitors and to investigate themes surrounding gender and the incidence of violence.

The prevalence of violence towards nurses is a concern for nurses and hospital administrators. However, nurses who work in acute care and mental healthcare settings are particularly at high risk. This study examines the occurrence, type of violence and gender issues in a regional public hospital of Queensland Australia.

An exploratory, qualitative design.

Focus group interviews with 23 nurses from Emergency Department (ED), Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Psychiatry Department (PD) working in Queensland regional public hospital, Australia. Qualitative data were transcribed and thematically analysed manually and by NVivo. COREQ research reporting checklist followed.

Participants reported frequent incidents of verbal and physical violence on a daily basis. Severe incidence included punching, kicking, biting and scratching, as well as threats of using weapons, such as knives. Patients were more likely to exhibit physical violence, especially towards male nurses, while hospital visitors including patient's family were more likely to exhibit verbal violence. Allocating male nurses in volatile areas and to care for violent patients raises concerns that the male nurses may be seen by their patients as “bodyguards” and not as a professional nurse.

Findings indicate that staff believe that violence is increasing, feel the burden to accept that violence as part of the job and that the bureaucratic processes of the organisation make it difficult to address violence or get support. Organisations need to be vigilant in ensuring assistance is accessible and simplified.

Relevant to clinical practice
This study contributes new knowledge to the discussion concerning of gender issues. Identifying gender issues could assist in developing the necessary interventions to reduce workplace violence.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2020 00:57
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2020 21:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia, Nursing, Physical Violence, Regional Hospital, Verbal violence, Workplace violence
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15362
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/39715

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