CHICAGO, May 7 (Xinhua) -- A study at the University of Illinois (UI) found 90 percent of nurses surveyed in Illinois experienced violence on the job at least once in the past 12 months, with 50 percent experiencing it six times or more during the period.
The study surveyed 275 nurses working in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, and 88 percent of them were women who had a broad cross-section of racial diversity and educational attainment.
The study found that 90 percent of the nurses surveyed experienced violence ranging from verbal abuse such as name-calling and threats, to physical assaults such as pinching, punching and thrown objects, and to sexual assault and threats such as stalking, groping and sexual harassment.
Despite experiencing an incidence of workplace violence, 98 percent of the nurses surveyed reported that they continued working immediately after being a target.
"It speaks to the commitment that nurses have to their job and their profession, and their desire to follow through on the care they're providing," said Emily E. LB. Twarog, UI professor of labor and employment relations.
It's also because many nurses don't have "an out" after they experience workplace violence, Twarog said. According to the study, 48 percent of nurses reported that they were not offered the option to leave work after a workplace incident. More than 50 percent of nurses reported that management was ineffective in addressing workplace violence issues.
All that workplace violence has a cumulative effect on health care workers, which could possibly have a negative impact on other patients, Twarog said.
The study makes several policy recommendations, with the chief one among them improving nurse-to-patient ratios.
"That would be the most important change administrators or legislators could make," Twarog said. "Nurses are, by and large, overworked, and if there were more nursing staff on the floor, not only would their experiences of violence diminish, but also the intensity of the violence would, too."
Whether it's a unionized nursing staff or not, Twarog said there needs to be more collaboration between the front-line workforce and management on developing, implemen金沙彩票ting and educating nurses on a workplace violence policy.
The study, posted on UI's website Monday, is part of the Project for Middle Class Renewal, a research-based initiative tasked with investigating the labor market institutions and policies in today's economy while elevating public discourse on issues affecting workers.