U.S. nurses reported a surge in office violence in post-pandemic occasions, in line with a new survey from the country’s biggest nursing union.
In Nationwide Nurses United’s (NNU) ballot of 914 nurses, 46% mentioned office violence had larger and 82% mentioned that they had skilled a minimum of one form of violence at paintings in 2023.
Moreover, 68% of respondents reported being verbally threatened, and greater than a 3rd reported being bodily threatened, slapped, punched or kicked, or having gadgets thrown at them, in line with the record.
Handiest 4% mentioned that office violence on their unit had declined up to now yr.
The survey was once performed from January to December 2023 by way of e mail, textual content, and in-person, in the long run together with respondents in 48 states and the District of Columbia. In general, 80% labored in a sanatorium atmosphere, 9% in outpatient clinics, 4% in homecare hospice, 4% in professional nursing or long-term care, and the rest labored in scientific places of work, had been retired, or had been lately now not hired as nurses.
Along with the survey, NNU performed center of attention teams in seven states and pulled out examples of the violence witnessed by way of nurses in 2023.
“I’ve sorted our personal workers with damaged bones, concussions, chew marks, bicep tears,” mentioned one emergency division nurse in Colorado, who referred to as consideration to a loss of safety features in her division and gradual reaction occasions from police.
A nurse in California mentioned that post-pandemic, persisted strict visitation insurance policies for COVID sufferers led members of the family to “lash out” at workforce.
An Illinois-based nurse, in the meantime, recounted an example the place a affected person introduced a gun into the medical institution, regardless of firearms now not being allowed.
“After the gun incident we requested for steel detectors to go into the sanatorium,” the nurse mentioned. “We had been knowledgeable by way of control it’s not possible; price prohibitive and we’re down police within the sanatorium.”
On account of those incidents and others, just about two-thirds of the survey respondents mentioned they skilled “anxiousness, worry, or larger vigilance,” whilst greater than one-third regarded as leaving the career, and just about one in 5 modified or left their jobs.
General, 63% of employers supply coaching on office violence, in line with the survey respondents. NNU argued that employers “proceed to fail” to give protection to nurses from office violence. Their information additionally confirmed that simplest 32% of employers supply a transparent solution to record incidents, and 30% have workforce, together with safety, to be had to reply to incidents of office violence.
“When employers fail to soundly workforce gadgets, it will increase the danger of office violence because of larger wait occasions, unmet affected person wishes, and larger pressure and ethical misery of healthcare workforce,” in line with an NNU press free up.
The record additionally highlighted that employers arise quick in relation to offering techniques to mitigate office violence, with 42% investigating such incidents and 21% converting observe to assist cut back the danger of long term incidents. In general, 29% of survey respondents mentioned that their employers reprimanded or blamed the workers for the incidents.
NNU President Jean Ross, RN, mentioned that “employers too incessantly prioritize earnings over affected person care, together with office violence prevention measures like secure staffing, violence prevention plans, and coaching … NNU believes that we’d like a countrywide enforceable OSHA [Occupational Health and Safety Administration] usual, as detailed within the Office Violence Prevention for Well being Care and Social Provider Staff Act (S. 1176/H.R. 2663), to give protection to nurses, different healthcare employees, and sufferers from office violence.”