Nurses’ Perspectives on Patient and Visitor Violence: A Qualitative Study

Lannette Henderson, Brittany Kamp, Keri Niedbalski, Samuel P. Abraham, Deborah R. Gillum


The profession of nursing is at high risk for work-related threats and violence from patients and visitors. The purpose of this study was to investigate nurses’ perspectives on patient and visitor violence. In this research study, a qualitative, phenomenological design was used. The study question was, “What are your lived experiences as a nurse with patient and visitor violence?” This study included what nurses have personally experienced and how they handled violent situations while performing their job. A total of 19 registered nurses were interviewed. Open-ended questions and follow-up probes evoked responses. Sequential interviews were conducted until all concepts were repeated multiple times without new themes emerging. Four common themes emerged were violence (punching, kicking, tackling, pinching, and spitting), long-term consequences of violence, need for education and training for violence, and the need for support from the organization. Taylor’s cognitive adaptation adjustments to threatening events theory helped guide the study.

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International Journal of Studies in Nursing  ISSN 2424-9653 (Print)  ISSN 2529-7317 (Online)

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