Workplace violence and intentions to quit: results from a survey of London nurses
Ferns, Terry, West, Elizabeth and Reeves, Rachel (2008) Workplace violence and intentions to quit: results from a survey of London nurses. In: Needham, Ian, Kingma, Mireille, O'Brien-Pallas, Linda, McKenna, Kevin, Tucker, Rick and Oud, Nico, (eds.) Proceedings of the first International Conference on Workplace Violence in the Health Sector: Together, Creating a Safe Work Environment. KAVANAH / Kavanah, Dwingeloo & Oud Consultancy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 73-74. ISBN 978-90-5740-0889Full text not available from this repository.
Work-place violence, harassment and abuse is an increasing feature of nurses’ experience of work in many countries. There is some evidence that the experience of workplace violence affects levels of job satisfaction (Hesketh et al 2003) and career decisions (e.g. Mayer et al 1999, Fernandes
et al 1999). This paper reports on verbal and physical abuse by patients, relatives and carers, as well as racial and sexual harassment in Acute Hospitals in London and investigates whether workplace violence affects nurses’ intentions to leave either their current job or the nursing
profession, controlling for a number of other factors that are known to affect career decisions, such as workload, pay and own health.
A questionnaire designed by two of the authors (Reeves and West) to assess many different aspects of nurses work life was used in a postal survey of nurses grades A to I practising in twenty London acute trusts in 2002. A total of 6,160 clinical nurses were mailed the questionnaires and 2,880 returned completed questionnaires, resulting in an overall response rate of 47%, discounting undelivered questionnaires. Respondents worked in a wide variety of clinical settings but mainly in acute medical and surgical wards. In addition to descriptive statistics, results were analysed using logistic regression with robust standard errors: the appropriate test when the dependent variable is dichotomous and the individual respondents clustered within units (nurses working within hospitals are not statistically independent).
Our results show high levels of racial (%), sexual (%) and other, unspecified forms of harassment (%), as well as verbal and physical abuse (14% had been physically assaulted with 5% being assaulted more than once), over the previous 6 months. A very small number (1%) reported
experiencing all three forms of harassment; 12% two forms and 29% one form. Only 45% of this sample intended to stay in nursing for at least 3 years; 40% were undecided and 15% intended to leave. Logistic regression estimates showed that reported levels of abuse and harassment had a significant impact on respondents’ career intentions, even in models that controlled for known factors affecting career decisions. About 70% of our respondents reported that they had had too little training in dealing with aggressive behaviour—or none at all—but there was no statistical relationship between lack of training and reported assaults.
The international shortage of health care workers is due at least in part to low retention rates. It is crucial to investigate nurses’ experiences of work to identify the factors that shape their career decisions. Workplace violence is increasingly acknowledged as an international, service-wide, health care problem. This paper adds to the literature that shows that workplace violence has an
impact on nurses’ career decisions. The implications for managers and policy makers are that strengthening systems of security and providing nurses with training in interpersonal relationships including dealing with aggressive patients could slow nurse turnover.
|Item Type:||Book Section|
|Additional Information:|| Only Abstract published in Proceedings.  Paper presented at the first International Conference on Workplace Violence in the Health Sector: Together, Creating a Safe Work Environment, held 21-24 October 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||workplace violence, intentions to quit, London, nurses|
|Subjects:||R Medicine > RT Nursing|
|School / Department / Research Groups:||School of Health & Social Care|
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Acute & Continuing Care
|Last Modified:||11 Jan 2011 11:13|
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