Workplace violence is very common all over the world and when it comes to nurses, this violence has a huge impact on productivity in healthcare facilities. Physical assaults have been observed particularly on emergency department or ED nurses. Not only the employees but also the patients are affected by this kind of violence. It has been seen that these nurses experience lack of sleep, anxiety, and nightmares in addition to physical injuries, bruises, and aches. They are more frustrated than other employees and have feelings of sadness and despair almost all the time.
Violence against nurses is now considered a major public health issue all around the globe. This is because this group of caregivers is highly affected due to this violence and their productivity sometimes drops to zero. Australia, the UK, and many other countries have adopted zero-tolerance policies when it comes to violence against nurses and they have also passed safety legislation that provides protection to nurses against physical and emotional or verbal violence and abuse.
Other than nurses, another group that experience violence at work is the patient care assistants. These people know exactly what nurses go through at workplaces. The violence often goes unnoticed due to under-reporting and as result the frustration grows making the matter more complicated. It has been seen that physical violence is prevalent in almost every type of work environment for nurses. In some cases, other than stress and physical injury death has been observed as the consequence of such violence. It is simply not acceptable to let this situation prevail for the future of healthcare in Australia as well as other parts of the world.
The nursing and midwifery courses not only prepare nurses for future challenges but also educate them on why violence against nurses happens in hospitals and other healthcare units. Usually this violence is related to patients and their attendants. These people are in direct interaction with nurses and they physically and verbally abuse them to take their anger and frustration out. Some patients with a history of mental health disease are likely to attack the nurses. The patient families often abuse the nurses on death of their relatives.
In order to provide a safe working environment for nurses as well as other employees including patient care assistants, there is a need to introduce several courses that would educate doctors, physicians and nurses on how to handle patients and their attendants in a controlled manner. This is to ensure that there is maximum level of workplace productivity and preventative strategies have been adopted completely.