Workplace violence Health care/social assistance

Nurses association: It’s time to end workplace violence, bullying

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Photo: Steve Debenport/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD – Declaring that the nursing profession will “no longer tolerate” workplace violence, the American Nurses Association has issued a position statement urging employers and workers to create a culture of respect.

Released Aug. 31, the statement recommends employers institute a “zero-tolerance” policy on incivility and bullying that includes reporting mechanisms and assurances that employees will not be retaliated against for reporting incidents and near misses, as well as investigation protocol allowing for neutral third-party involvement.

The statement also recommends the following:

  • Implement a workplace violence prevention program that includes management commitment and employee involvement.
  • Thoroughly prescreen job applicants.
  • Review each reported incident of violence with an interprofessional team to identify ways to mitigate future occurrences.
  • Provide mechanisms for employees to seek support when feeling threatened.
  • Offer stress management and reduction strategies to employees who experience incivility or bullying.

Incivility, bullying and workplaces violence can result in nurses leaving the profession, decreased personal health and lower productivity, according to the statement, which cited various studies. Failure to address workplace violence through a formal system amounts to indirectly promoting it, ANA said.