Document Type: Original Article
Department of Health Management and Economics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Health Management and Economics, School of Public Health and Knowledge Utilization Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Workplace violence is one of the factors which can strongly reduce job satisfaction and the quality of working life of nurses. The aim of this study was to measure nurses’ exposure to workplace violence in one of the major teaching hospitals in Tehran in 2010.
We surveyed the nurses in a cross-sectional design in 2010. The questionnaire was adapted from a standardized questionnaire designed collaboratively by the International Labor Office (ILO), the International Health Organization (IHO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), and the Public Services International (PSI). Finally, in order to analyze the relationships among different variables in the study, T-test and Chi-Square test were used.
Three hundred and one nurses responded to the questionnaire (a response rate of 73%). Over 70% of the nurses felt worried about workplace violence. The participants reported exposure to verbal abuse (64% CI: 59-70%), bullying-mobbing (29% CI: 24-34%) and physical violence (12% CI: 9-16%) at least once during the previous year. Relatives of hospital patients were responsible for most of the violence. Nurses working in the emergency department and outpatient clinics were more likely to report having experienced violence. Nurses were unlikely to report violence to hospital managers, and 40% of nurses were unaware of any existing policies within the hospital for reducing violence.
We observed a considerable level of nurse exposure to workplace violence. The high rate of reported workplace violence demonstrates that the existing safeguards that aim to protect the staff from abusive patients and relatives are inadequate.