Workplace violence in Queensland, Australia: The results of a comparative study

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Abstract

This paper presents the results on workplace violence from a larger study undertaken in 2004. Comparison is made with the results of a similar study undertaken in 2001. The study involved the random sampling of 3000 nurses from the Queensland Nurses' Union's membership in the public (acute hospital and community nursing), private (acute hospital and domiciliary nursing) and aged care (both public and private aged care facilities) sectors. The self-reported results suggest an increase in workplace violence in all three sectors. Although there are differences in the sources of workplace violence across the sectors, the major causes of workplace violence are: clients/patients, visitors/relatives, other nurses, nursing management and medical practitioners. Associations were also found between workplace violence and gender, the designation of the nurse, hours of employment, the age of the nurse, morale and perceptions of workplace safety. Although the majority of nurses reported that policies were in place for the management of workplace violence, these policies were not always adequate.

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