Survey Reveals 9 out of 10 Healthcare Workers Experience or Witness Workplace Violence

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Survey Reveals 9 out of 10 Healthcare Workers Experience or Witness Workplace Violence

A survey of healthcare workers released in May 2022 revealed that roughly nine in ten – 92 percent – have experienced, or been in close proximity to, workplace violence from a patient or a patient’s caregiver in the past month, three in four have encountered both verbal and physical assaults, and nearly half needed to call for security or another coworker to assist.

According to the survey conducted by employee listening leader Perceptyx, physical violence was most prevalent in hospitals and long-term care facilities, but the seriousness of the incidents varied. While hospital staff experienced the most intense incidents of physical violence, workers in long-term care facilities experienced physical violence more frequently.

The survey found that nurses in hospitals were the most likely of all healthcare employees to be exposed to physical or verbal violence at work, with 96 percent of them experiencing an instance in the past month. In addition, four in five hospital nurses had to call a coworker or security because they felt unsafe, twice as many as healthcare workers in other roles.

More than half of long-term care workers were exposed to a physical assault in the last month, with 15 percent of the incidents being serious enough to warrant a call for help. While the number of physical assaults was more than the four in ten hospital workers experiencing an attack, half of those incidents were serious enough to require intervention from another party.

Although the survey showed that male and female healthcare workers were equally as likely to have experienced a violent incident in the past month, a finding that some may find surprising, women working in healthcare were 20 percent more likely than men to have had a violent incident that required help from security or another colleague.

“It’s no secret that healthcare workers are burning out from long hours, lack of staff, and the emotional stress of the pandemic – and that violence in healthcare settings is on the rise,” Emily Killham, Director of Research and Insights at Perceptyx, stated in a blog about the survey. “It’s not limited to just nurses in hospitals, it’s affecting every corner of the profession.”

The survey may reveal major implications for the retention of healthcare workers. Of the 1,095 healthcare workers surveyed, more than half said they did not have the staff to meet their workload, one-third reported that they were considering leaving their jobs in the next twelve months, and 40 percent of those people planned to leave the healthcare field entirely.

The findings agree with results from a National Nurses United survey in April 2022 which showed nurses are experiencing more workplace violence than ever. Another study found that being exposed to workplace violence had significant effects on nurses who were more likely to report high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and burnout.

ClearStar is a leading HR-technology company specializing in background and medical screening services. ClearStar offers healthcare background checks that meet strict requirements and high standards of the industry while providing a candidate-friendly mobile solution and a quick, positive experience. To learn more, please contact ClearStar today.

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    Thomas Ahearn - News Blog Editor and Public Relations Specialist

    Thomas Ahearn is our News Blog Editor and Public Relations Specialist. Our News Blog provides information about the background check industry to employers, HR professionals, recruiters, and consumers. ClearStar's News covers a variety of topics including Ban the Box, credit reports, criminal records, data breaches, drug testing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), E-Verify, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), HR technology, identity theft and fraud, jobs reports, lawsuits involving screening, Millennial workforce, privacy issues, social media background checks, and workplace violence.

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