Public violence, staff harassment and the wellbeing of nursing staff

An analysis of national survey data
Instances of physical violence from members of the public and non-physical harassment from colleagues are highly prevalent in the health-care workforce and can be damaging to both staff and patients. While policy has tended to focus on the more visible problem of public violence, little is known about which of the two behaviours is the most damaging. This study compared the consequences of public violence and staff harassment for wellbeing in two large samples of English nurses. The results revealed that while both types of aggression were related to decreased levels of staff wellbeing, staff harassment had a stronger negative association with wellbeing than public violence. The relationships between each of the types of aggression and some aspects of wellbeing were moderated by perceived supervisory support, such that the negative effects on wellbeing were greater for those with higher levels of support. The major implication of this study is that health-care organizations must pay more attention to the prevention of staff harassment in the workplace.

Source : Chris Woodrow and David E Guest. Health Serv Manage Res. February 2012, vol. 25, no. 1, p. 24-30.

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