9 in 10 healthcare workers have seen or experienced violence, report says

An overwhelming majority of healthcare workers have experienced or been in close proximity to workplace violence from patients and their caregivers, according to a new survey showing the far-ranging problem of workplace safety in hospitals and care facilities.

The survey from employee insight platform Perceptyx asked healthcare workers about their experiences with violence in the last month. 

The survey revealed that 92 percent of healthcare workers have experienced or witnessed violence from a patient or their caregiver in the past month. Three in four have also experienced verbal and physical assaults in the past month and almost half of them had to call security or a colleague to assist them. 

Among healthcare workers, nurses were the most likely to experience abuse. Hospitals and long-term care facilities were the places where violence was most common, with hospital staff receiving the most intense incidents but long-term care workers dealing with them more frequently.

"It’s a complex issue that won’t be solved with broad-sweep policies," said Emily Killham, director of research and insights at Perceptyx. "It requires those in charge to have a deep understanding of the specific factors driving violence, gleaned from listening intently to the workers interfacing with patients."

In a similar study, nearly 24 percent of physicians experienced workplace mistreatment in the past year, according to new research published May 6 in JAMA Network Open.

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