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December 2002, Volume 32 Number 12 , p 32cc1 - 32cc5





  • Abstract

  • Violence on the rise

  • Could this patient become violent?

  • Assessment is key

  • Violence from other sources

  • Preventing workplace violence

  • Could your colleague turn violent?



  • Abstract

    Workplace violence is on the rise, but you can learn to anticipate and defuse potentially dangerous situations.

    Nurses are three times as likely as any other professional group to experience violence in the workplace, and women are at higher risk than men. Yet most acts of violence in the health care setting go unreported.

    As a critical care nurse, you must be prepared to deal with the climate of increasing workplace violence. The first step is to recognize potentially violent situations and people; the second step is to implement policies to protect nurses on (and to some extent, off) the job.

    Violence on the rise

    Two forms of violence are common in hospital settings: Physical violence involves actual or threatened injury to another person or damage to property. Aggressive acts include verbal or physical actions aimed at creating fear in another person.

    Because many hospitals no longer restrict visiting times and others don't require visitors to check in and get a pass, facilities have become more vulnerable to violence. And because critical care and emergency nursing is stressful to all involved, your risk of encountering violence is even higher.

    Anyone subjected to daily stress—patients, visitors, colleagues, and volunteers—may become violent. Stressful life events such as domestic partner abuse or divorce can leave a person feeling overwhelmed, distressed, and out of control. Some people use violence to relieve stress, resolve conflict, and deal with issues in their personal relationships. ...

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