Nurses’ Experiences of Violence at the Workplace

Much has been said and written about the experiences of nurses in relation to violence at the workplace. The issue of violence in nursing is important because of its potential to undermine the quality of healthcare services and hamper positive patient outcomes. Current scholarly literature interrogates experiences of violence at the workplace meted out against nurses by either patients, colleagues, or other individuals within the healthcare setting. However, regardless of the extensive scholarly focus on this matter, the incidences and prevalence of this scourge continue to surge. It is possible that the endemic nature of this problem is caused by the lack of evidence-based interventions. This gap, therefore, makes the study of the experiences of workplace violence for nurses with a view to identifying an evidence-based intervention imperative. In that regard, a study to explore the occurrences of violence against nurses by patients, colleagues, or any other people within the healthcare setting is proposed to broaden the scope and perspectives underlying current literature on nursing and violence.

Violence in nursing is a systemic problem. Abbas, Fiala, Abdel Rahman, and Fahim [5] confirmed the extensive nature of the problem in a study almost ten years back that found a considerable portion of nurses in were verbally and physically abused by patients and their relatives, with males being more exposed to violence compared to women. This study revealed that workplace violence against nurses is a big problem and encouraged the need for further studies on the problem. This article sets the background on nurses’ experiences of violence at work.

In a comparison of violent incidents against emergency nurses and their non-emergency counterparts, Abou-ElWafa, El-Gilany, Abd-El-Raouf, Abd-Elmouty, and El-Sayed Hassan El-Sayed [9] assert that violence against nurses is common but neglected. This statement raises the question whether violence by nurses is also neglected in the same way. These researchers found that emergency nurses experience higher levels of violence with triggering factors including young age, work shift, and emergency specialty.