Violence against health care workers: a provider’s (staff nurse) perspective

Sandhya Mishra, Deepak Chopra, Nidhi Jauhari, Ausaf Ahmad, Nasrah Ayyub Kidwai


Background: Work place violence has become an endemic problem for health care workers (HCW) worldwide. The staff nurses are the most vulnerable and most assaulted among all the health care workers. The study was conducted with an aim to assess the frequency of violence and factors responsible, the response of the staff nurses after an incident of violence, any association between the socio-demographic factors with the violence against the HCW and to seek the suggestions to stop/prevent such incidents.

Methods: A cross sectional study conducted in a tertiary care private sector hospital in Lucknow. All the staff nurses working in IIMSR (Purposive Convenience). 141 staff nurses consented and were enrolled in the study. A qualified consenting nurse having at least 6 months of professional experience were included in the study.

Results: Approximately three fourth of the nurses have ever been exposed to the violence and verbal abuse was the most common form of violence. The intense workload, high patient expectation and substance abuse were the three important contributing factors. The majority of nurses who suffered violence ever, felt that it was preventable. Ever reporting of violence was high and majority (>80%) of respondents felt that making the waiting room/area comfortable and restricted entry to staff and examination room can stop or prevent the violence.

Conclusions: The violence against health care workers especially nurses is a major problem and can threaten the delivery of effective quality care. These incidents are preventable, provided security; training and communications measures are in place.


Violence against health care workers, Staff nurses, Verbal abuse

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