Skip navigation

Reporting behaviours of nursing students who have experienced verbal abuse

Reporting behaviours of nursing students who have experienced verbal abuse

Ferns, Terry and Meerabeau, Elizabeth (2009) Reporting behaviours of nursing students who have experienced verbal abuse. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65 (12). 2678 -2688. ISSN 0309-2402 (Print), 1365-2648 (Online) (doi:

Full text not available from this repository.


Aim: This paper is a report of a study exploring the reporting behaviours of nursing students who had experienced verbal abuse while gaining clinical experience.

Background: Under-reporting of incidents of verbal abuse has been identified internationally as a limitation leading to incomplete data collection when researching aggression in healthcare facilities. This can call into question conclusions, recommendations and policy initiatives based on the research.

Method: Questionnaires were distributed in 2005 to a convenience sample of 156 third year nursing students from one preregistration nursing programme in England. A total of 114 questionnaires were returned, giving a response rate of 73·0%. Fifty-one students (44·7%) reported verbal abuse and all of these gave details of the behaviours concerned.

Results: Thirty-two students (62·7%) of those reporting verbal abuse) stated that they had reported the incident and 19 (37·3%) of respondents stated that they had not. Only four incidents resulted in formal documentation. The most frequent feelings reported by respondents were embarrassment and feeling sorry for the abuser.

Conclusion: Failure to document experiences of verbal abuse formally was prevalent and reporting practices were variable. Both higher education institutions and healthcare providers should consider establishing process for formal reporting and documenting of incidents of verbal abuse during nurse education, and students should have access to formal support services.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Conference paper of same title presented at International Conference on Workplace Violence in the Health Sector, held 21-24 October 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (see GALA -
Uncontrolled Keywords: incidents, nurse education, questionnaire survey, students, support, verbal abuse
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item