Workplace Violence

  • Overview

A new initiative has been introduced to educate nurses, health care workers, and social services workers on how to prevent workplace violence where you work. Write a 750–1,000-word article on workplace violence and prevention measures for the hospital employee newsletter.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Explain the effect of health care policies, legislation, and legal issues on health care delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Identify the political, legal, and/or legislative factors that may contribute to violence in health care settings.
  • Competency 2: Explain the effect of regulatory environments and controls on health care delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Identify the main components of OSHA’s workplace violence prevention guidelines.
  • Explain the American Nursing Association’s position on violence in the workplace.
  • Explain safety policies and protocols for preventing and responding to violence against health care workers.
  • Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is consistent with the expectations of nursing professionals.
  • Write content clearly and logically, with the correct use of grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.
  • Correctly format citations and references using APA style.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (2002) defines workplace violence as any physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the workplace. Violence includes overt and covert behaviors ranging in aggressiveness from verbal harassment to murder.

Specific to hospital workers, studies by the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) show that:

Violence often takes place during times of high activity and interaction with patients, such as at meal times and during visiting hours and patient transportation. Assaults may occur when service is denied, when a patient is involuntarily admitted, or when a health care worker attempts to set limits on eating, drinking, or tobacco or alcohol use. (2002, para. 4)


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2002). Violence: Occupational hazards in hospitals. Retrieved from

Questions to consider

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional community.

  • What are the more common reasons for workplace violence?
  • What clinical risk factors can lead to workplace violence?
  • What obligation does a health care facility have to protect workers from violence?
  • What personal safety strategies do you have to protect yourself from violence at work?
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