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What is workplace violence exactly? Workplace violence is any type of action that involves the use of violent behavior like threats of physical violence, bullying, verbal or non-verbal threats that happens in the workplace (Domestic Violence Sourcebook, 2016, p.294). The workplace can be any location, the workplace can be either permanent and/or temporary. Workplace violence is a huge concern for companies and employees in both public and private areas of workplaces. Workplace violence often creates a threat to employees and public safety. Workplace violence can also influence the efficiency of the company. No company or organization is fully unaffected by workplace violence. For any person who is very concerned about the safety of their fellow employees and for themselves by the cause of a possible or a current violent situation in the workplace, then they should go and contact the department of security office at their workplace or go contact the police right away (Domestic Violence Sourcebook, 2016, p.295). One of the most possible places that can have workplace violence, are those that involved the issue of healthcare. The peer-reviewed articles may provide more inside information on the topic of workplace violence in healthcare workplaces.
Workplace violence in the healthcare workplaces is a very serious job-related problem for nurses and other healthcare employees and healthcare professionals (Martinez, Johann, 2016, p.1). The most common form of workplace violence in healthcare workplaces is patient aggression. Patient aggression happens in emergency departments, psychiatrics and nursing homes. The types of workplace violence that are experienced by the nurses are either physical and/or verbal assault. Research has found that the staff, environment, and patient risk factors are the major causes of workplace violence in healthcare workplaces (Martinez, Johann, 2016, p.2). After an experience of workplace violence, nurses and other healthcare workers or professionals, they will experience notable negative physical and/or psychological consequences.
According to the study on predictors of trivialization of workplace violence by Geoffrion and Lanctot, the main purpose of their study was to provide a quantitative examination of how individual characteristics influence trivialization of workplace violence (Geoffrion, Lanctôt, Marchand, Boyer, Guay, 2015, p.11). By using a victimization survey, the study has received the perceptions of 1141 people who work in healthcare and in law enforcement. The results of the survey showed individual and organizational predictors of workplace violence. One of the predictors is complaining about workplace violence. Basically, according to the results, old men and women are less likely to talk about the discomfort about workplace violence (Geoffrion, Lanctôt, Marchand, Boyer, Guay, 2015, p.11). Also, the sex of the worker is also a predictor of normalization of workplace violence. Men are more likely than women to think that workplace violence is just a part of the job. This finding is compatible with information on stress and sex, which proposes important defenses in recognition and coping skills of men and women (Geoffrion, Lanctôt, Marchand, Boyer, Guay, 2015, p.11). The result could also provide more information into the explanation of men being less likely than women to seek professional help. A possible reason is that men do not ask for help from people is that probably because men believes that violence is normal in the workplace. There is evidence that supports the idea of victimization plays a role in workplace contribution to the trivialization of workplace violence. In the study, most people were witnesses of acts of aggression, so if employees believe violence is just part of the job and they continue to witness violence in the workplace, the worker may more likely believe that they would be judged by their colleagues, and or supervisors if they complain about the workplace violence.
In a cross-sectional by Liuyi Zhang and Anni Wang they wanted to determine the prevalence of workplace violence against Chinese nurses, and it’s influencing factors (Zhang, Wang, Xie, Zhou, Li, Yang, 2017, p.1). The results of the cross-sectional study revealed that nurses who have less work experience, who works a rotating roster, work in emergency rooms, pediatrics departments, have low levels of empathy, and those who work in bad nursing workplaces are more likely to experience workplace violence. The results from the cross-sectional study can help the healthcare managers to understand their employee’s status. Also, the study recommends to the leaders in charge of the nursing program to provide improved education and support for the high-risk groups in the nursing workplace to help in protecting nurses from the workplace violence in healthcare environments.
In terms of workplace violence in the United States of America against healthcare workers, in January 2015, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s hospital was shot and killed at work by the son of a dead patient (Phillips, 2016, p.2). The media didn’t really go into detail that even though murder is rare for a healthcare worker, workplace violence of healthcare workers or medical providers happen daily in the United States of America. One possible solution to prevent and/or reduce workplace violence is to find and identify people who are at risk to commit workplace violence, so certain safety precautions can be enforced to prevent the violence from happening in the workplace. Specific places like psychiatric units, nursing homes, and emergency departments are the most specific places where workplace violence happens for healthcare workers. One other suggestion to reduce and prevent the incidence of workplace violence was to predict the possibility of workplace violence based on medical diagnosis and traits. However, this method has been proven to be very difficult and it could lead to discrimination against certain patients. According to an analysis of data from perpetrators and victims have not found any specific characteristics that are considered useful in predicting the risk of workplace violence in healthcare environments. There have been a few suggestions with supporting information evidence to claim that they could reduce and/or prevent workplace violence from happening. One of the solutions is to have metal detectors. Metal detectors have been proven to be accurate and reliable in distinguishing episodes from all demographics and employment groups (Phillips, 2016, p.7). One other suggestion to reduce and/or prevent workplace violence is to start training the employees in aggression de-escalation techniques and start training the employees in the use of self-defense techniques.
Workplace violence can happen in any company and organization since no company and organization is immune to having workplace violence. In this case one of the possible workplaces are workplaces that are involved in healthcare. Workplace violence is a serious issue for healthcare employees and professionals like doctors and nurses. In terms of the most common workplace violence nurses received are either physical and/or verbal assaults. In terms of the predictors of trivialization, the sex of the employee is a factor of normalization of workplace violence in both healthcare and law enforcement workplaces. Men are more likely than women to believe that the violence in the workplace is just a part of the job. However, in terms of witnesses, if they believe that the violence in the workplace is normal and continue to see workplace violence, they would start to believe that they would be judged if they complained. According to a cross-sectional study in China, they believe that nurses who have low work experience, work a rotating schedule, who works in emergency rooms are more likely to experience workplace violence. The study urges the leaders of the nursing program to provide education and support for the high-risk group in the nursing workplace to protect the nurses from workplace violence. In terms of workplace violence and Healthcare workplaces in the United States of America, a few suggestions to reduce and/or prevent further issues of workplace violence was to use metal detectors and teach employees aggression de-escalation techniques and self-defense techniques. Workplace violence is a serious job-related issue that must be stopped, to do that a deeper understanding of research on the topic must continue so we may have the answer.
Domestic violence sourcebook (5th). (2016). Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, Inc.
Geoffrion, S., Lanctôt, N., Marchand, A., Boyer, R., & Guay, S. (2015). Predictors of trivialization of workplace violence among healthcare workers and law enforcers. Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, 2(3–4), 195–213. https://doi.org/10.1037/tam0000048
Solorzano Martinez, A. J. (2016). Managing workplace violence with evidence- based interventions: A literature review. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 54(9), 31–36. https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20160817-05
Phillips, J. P. (2016). Workplace violence against health care workers in the United States. The New England Journal of Medicine, 374(17), 1661–1669. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMra1501998
Zhang, L., Wang, A., Xie, X., Zhou, Y., Li, J., Yang, L., & Zhang, J. (2017). Workplace violence against nurses: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 72, 8–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.04.002
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