A study has found that three out of four nurses have experienced violence while at work, and 9 out of 10 have suffered verbal abuse.
Out of 2,354 nurses interviewed in the study, three-quarters said they had experienced some form of violence in their job, while 92% said they had been verbally abused by patients.
Despite the high number of cases of workplace violence identified in the study, official figures fail to reflect the severity of the situation, with only one in six cases formally reported, the study found.
“Many nurses said they felt that workplace violence was just part of the job”
Lead author Dr Rose Chapman
Many of the nurses involved in the research, carried out by a team from Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia, said they felt as though workplace abuse or violence was simply “part of the job”.
Some 69% said they had been physically threatened, 52% said they had been physically assaulted and 40% said they had been involved in a situation in which a weapon was used.
Lead author Dr Rose Chapman said: “Many of the nurses who took part in the research said that they did not report incidents because they felt that workplace violence was just part of the job”.
The age, sex and level of experience of the nurses involved in the study varied, while the number and nature of incidents also varied depending on what department they worked in.