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Violence against nurses reaching unprecedented levels

upset nurse sitting on floor

Working as a California nurse involves a high degree of risk. While working around ill patients creates obvious hazards, nurses also face numerous safety risks in other areas. The number of patients assaulting nurses is on the rise across California and the nation, and the statistics surrounding nurses who face on-the-job violence are concerning.

Per HealthLeaders Media, an average of two American nurses suffer assaults every hour across the United States.

How often nurses experience violence

Research shows that, in just the second quarter of 2022, more than 5,000 American nurses experienced violent acts at the hands of their patients. This equates to 57 nurses a day and 1,739 nurses per month facing on-the-job violence. However, many believe this is an estimate and that the true number of nurses experiencing assaults is much higher. This is due to the fact that many nurses and health care organizations fail to make formal reports of these incidents.

Where a nurse faces the highest risk of violence

Nurses who work in certain types of health care settings tend to face higher threats of violence. Assaults that occur in psychiatric or rehabilitation units are more likely to produce serious injuries. However, nurses who work in psychiatric units, emergency rooms and pediatric units are among those most likely to suffer assaults. Also, the majority of those who assault nurses are male, with the exception of assaults that take place in pediatric or rehab units. In these settings, women are more frequent assailants.

Many assaults on nurses lead to injuries that are severe enough to warrant a nurse taking time off work.

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