2 Nurses Assaulted Every Hour in Q2 2022
Psychiatric units and emergency departments saw the highest number of assaults resulting in moderate to severe injuries.
More than 5,200 nursing personnel were assaulted in the second quarter of 2022, according to newly released data.
An analysis of Press Ganey’s National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) showed that on average, two nurses were assaulted every hour. That equates to 57 assaults per day, 1,739 per month, and 5,216 per quarter. The findings, released Sept. 8, are based on the organization’s analysis of 483 U.S. facilities in its national database. The analysis defined assault as any encounter involving deliberate forcible, unwanted physical or sexual contact, regardless of whether there is intent to harm.
“Nurses take an oath to do no harm, and many put their own safety and health at risk to help a patient. However, violence should not be considered ‘just part of the job,'” said Jeff Doucette, DNP, RN, chief nursing officer at Press Ganey. “What’s especially concerning about these numbers is that they are likely even higher, as assaults generally go underreported by healthcare professionals — and nurses in particular.”
The majority of the assaults were from patients. Psychiatric units and emergency departments saw the highest number of assaults resulting in moderate to severe injuries while obstetrics and neonatal intensive care units had the lowest number of reported nurse assaults. It also found the majority of assailants are males, with exceptions in pediatric units and rehab units where females are more likely to be perpetrators of violence.
“Violence toward nurses has reached an alarming rate, nearing, if not already, an epidemic. We are calling on all healthcare leaders to declare zero tolerance for hostility toward healthcare workers, improve caregiver well-being and advance our shared commitment to zero harm,” Doucette continued. “Nurses deserve to be protected and feel safe while caring for people in their most vulnerable state.”
To help mitigate violence against nurses, Press Ganey recommends the following:
- Implement reporting systems for record-keeping and safety and well-being program evaluation
- Ensure caregiver safety is a core value, and the expectation that violence on the job is neither expected nor accepted
- Enact formal policies and procedures for risk identification, hazard prevention and control, standard response plans, and post-incident support
- Implement training and education programs that teach warning signs, de-escalation techniques, progressive behavior control, emergency management, and communication and teamwork
For more research and best practices for improving nurse safety, visit PressGaney.com.
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