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Workplace violence in the healthcare industry and the prevention policies

In the United States, the healthcare industry tends to be the most regulated. People who operate healthcare institutions are heavily guided by the law on how they should provide the services. Government laws and regulations aim to ensure that the patients receive quality services and, in this case, no violence (Krug, Mercy, Dahlberg, and  Zwi, 2002). Some legal, political, and legislative factors have contributed to healthcare workplace violence in healthcare settings. In most cases, clients and patients have been noted to be the cause of violence in many healthcare settings. Some of the factors that may contribute to healthcare violence include working with people who have a history of workplace violence, members of gangs, people with a history of drug abuse, and even relatives of clients. The risk of violence to the healthcare workers. Another factor contributing to violence is working in poorly designed facilities. This way people causing violence can easily escape or interfere with the violence to make them seem innocent. Lack of emergency communication has also resulted in violence. Even possession of firearms among other harmful objects by the patients. Another contributing factor is working in dangerous neighborhoods. An organization could also cause risks, for example, when the waiting areas are overcrowded, there is unrestricted movement of patients in the hospital. Some people even perceive that violence is tolerated and that victims will do nothing about it. All these factors are illegal, and some are caused by political influences and legislation (Lachman, 2014).

Different bodies are working towards a better healthcare industry. To achieve this, they must focus on the reduction of violence in healthcare facilities. The Occupational Safety Health Association (OSHA) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) are two known organizations against violence in the workplace the two have different statement positions regarding violence in the healthcare industry. ANA recommends collaboration in creating non-violent programs that have grounds from the nurses’ code of ethics. ANA also participates in educational programs to prevent violence in the workplace for registered nurses working in healthcare facilities. The nurses are taught how to respond to violent situations in the workplace. ANA also recommends intervention in cases of witnessed violence. The association urges the nurses to intervene whenever they see violent actions. The union has taught the nurses the most appropriate measures to take in such situations (AnnMarie and Venella, 2013).

On the other hand, OSHA establishes a workplace risk assessment in collaboration with the staff members. The association also created policies and other security programs that forbid using weapons in healthcare settings. OSHA recommends and provides training on newly employed staff not to forget giving education and training to the team already working. This is in an attempt to prevent and resolve violence in the facilities. The association (OSHA) also provides training to security staff in areas known to be risky (Gilmore, 2006). This way, they can respond to violence and act immediately.

OSHA has developed some policies and programs to prevent and respond to violence. Various elements are useful in the development of a non-violent workplace. The association works towards reducing and eliminating the risk of violence in the workplace. Some segments of developing an efficient, violence-free environment include keeping records and evaluating performance. Secondly, healthcare specialists should be trained on risk avoidance measures. Prevention of hazards in the workplace. Analysis of the worksites and establishments of a management committee and involving the employees in various aspects that promote nonviolence (Ditmer, 2010). A violence-free healthcare setting should ensure that they have implemented the OSHA guidelines.


Krug, E. G., Mercy, J. A., Dahlberg, L. L., & Zwi, A. B. (2002). The world report on violence and health. The lancet360(9339), 1083-1088.

Lachman, V. D. (2014). Ethical issues in the disruptive behaviors of incivility, bullying, and horizontal/lateral violence. Medsurg nursing23(1), 56.

AnnMarie Papa, D. N. P., Jeanne Venella, D. N. P., & CEN, C. (2013). Workplace violence in health care: strategies for advocacy. Online journal of issues in nursing18(1), 101.

Gilmore, J. (2006). Violence in the workplace. Nephrology nursing journal33(3), 254.

Ditmer, D. (2010). A safe environment for nurses and patients: Halting horizontal violence. Journal of Nursing Regulation1(3), 9-14.



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