Study measures workplace violence

A study for the first time precisely measures nurse and patient care assistant exposure rates to patient aggression in real time, illuminating how common workplace violence is. Past studies likely underestimated workplace violence by relying on health care workers recalling episodes. Published in the March 2024 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, the research team examined incidences of patient and visitor aggressive events toward patient care staff on five inpatient medical units using logs over a 14-day period in 2017. Staff experienced 1.17 events per 40 hours worked, with 179 aggressive events recorded. Verbal aggression rates were higher than physical aggression rates and were most common during medication administration, while patients were waiting for care or when staff delivered food or drinks. (Joint Commission news release, 2/27/24)