Workplace physical violence among hospital nurses and physicians in underserved areas in Jordan

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Aims and objectives

To: (1) examine the incidence, frequency and contributing factors to workplace violence among nurses and physicians in underserved areas in Jordan, and (2) identify the existing policies and the management modalities to tackle workplace violence.


Workplace violence is a major problem in healthcare organisations. An understanding of the nature of violence is essential to implementing successful management.


A descriptive exploratory research design.


The questionnaire that was developed in 2003 by the International Labor Office, the International Council of Nurses, the World Health Organization, and the Public Services International was used to collect data from a convenience sample of 521 Jordanian physicians and nurses (396 nurses, 125 physicians) who worked in hospitals located in underserved areas.


Around 15% of the participants were exposed to physical violence. The factors that contributed to workplace violence were related to absence of policies, inadequate staffing and lack of communication skills. Only 16·9% of participants indicated that there were specific policies available for dealing with physical workplace violence. Strengthening security and providing training were some of the important factors indicated by participants for decreasing violence in the workplace.


Workplace violence is a problem in underserved areas that needs attention from administrators. Most participants were very dissatisfied with the way the administrators dealt with the incidents.

Relevance to clinical practice

Instituting firm policies against perpetrators and developing protective violence guidelines to support healthcare staff in managing workplace violence are paramount to tackle the problem of workplace violence.

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