Violence in the Nursing Workplace - Essay Example

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America's health care sector is shifting rapidly. Today with new technological system patients can get better information about the quality and cost of their care, and there is competition to provide them with the best value. According to the current estimates, US healthcare spends approximately 15% of GDP, which is the highest in the world (WHO, 2006)…
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Violence in the Nursing Workplace
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Download file to see previous pages corporations; and numerous unions, communities, doctors and hospitals have joined (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2007).
In providing the high quality health care the challenges are significant, particularly in the highly decentralized health care system in the United States. The cost and quality of care in the United States are frequently the two major issues of discussion. According to statistics, the United States is below the average for developed countries in health measures such as infant mortality (CDC, 2007), maternal death (Hilts, 1995), and life expectancy (WHO, 2000). On the other hand access to advanced medical treatments and technologies is greater than in most other developed nations.
One of the major challenges faced by the health care sector is the shortage of nursing staff. Recent national statistics show the average age of nurses rising while the rate of those entering the profession has slowed over the past few years. The reason for the nursing shortage includes the average age of nurses is 45 years, the image of the profession, work environment issues especially the high stress situations and the faculty shortage.
Health care organizations increasingly depend on staff nurses to meet patient and organizational outcomes. In most of the cases, to achieve these outcomes, staff nurses must be willing to assume additional roles while providing exceptional job performance. In other words, it is not the case with other jobs where work is just restricted to the individuals' interest to grow and perform. Besides organizational commitment has been connected to a variety of desired organizational outcomes and work behavior including decreased turn-over, patient satisfaction, and exceptional job performance.
Today with the increasing pressure on the nursing staff, it is estimated that first-year retention rates for new graduate nurses is only between 40% and 65%. In terms of numbers as many as 6 out of 10 new nursing grads leave nursing practice within one year of graduation (Rosebrough, 2005). One of the main reasons for them to leave the profession is the workplace violence they experience particularly in the initial years of their practice.
Workplace violence is one of the most complex and dangerous occupational hazards facing nurses. It is a common that nurses experiences violence from both patients as well as co-workers. The dangers arise from the exposure to violent individuals together with the absence of strong violence prevention programs and protective regulations. These factors combined with organizational realities such as staff shortages and increased work pressure creates substantial barriers to eliminating violence. Statistics point out that more than 1.6 million people worldwide lose their lives because of violence every year (World Health Organization, 2002) and as many as 72 per cent of nurses do not feel safe from assault at work (International Council of Nurses [ICN], 2004). Health-care professionals are at the highest risk for being attacked at work, when compared to other professions such as prison guards, police officers, bank personnel or transport workers (Kingma, 2001).
Workplace violence is a concept with ambiguous boundaries. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Centers for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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