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How Common Is Violence Against Nurses?

As someone who works as a nurse in an Iowa health care setting, you may have firsthand knowledge of just how common violence against nurses has become in recent years. Chances are, you got into the nursing field because you had an innate desire to help others, but violent patients may be making it increasingly difficult to perform your typical job duties.

Managed Care reports that violent acts against nurses are so common currently that about 20 percent of all nursing students and registered nurses across the country have experienced it in their place of employment or study. While physical violence is common in health care settings, verbal abuse is also, with more than half of today’s nursing students and registered nurses experiencing workplace verbal abuse or assault each year.

Violence against female nurses appears to be more common than violence against male nurses, but this is likely due in part to the fact that about 90 percent of all nurses employed in the United States are women. When it comes to who is perpetrating these acts of violence against nurses, the patient is a common answer, and in some cases, the family members of patients are also involved.

Some patients act out against nurses because they do not want to receive medical treatment in the first place and the nurse is the easiest or closest person to blame. Other times, patients act violently against nurses because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or because they have certain mental illnesses, among other reasons.

This copy about violence against nurses seeks to educate you, but it is not a replacement for legal advice.