Violence on the job: The experiences of nurses and midwives with violence from patients and their friends and relatives

Jacqueline Pich, Michael Roche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)


Violence in healthcare is recognised as a significant workplace issue worldwide, with nurses recognised as the profession at greatest risk. The purpose of this study was to explore nurses’ and midwives’ experiences of violence in different clinical areas, work sectors and geographical regions. A cross-sectional design was employed to survey the membership of the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association about their experiences with violence from patients and/or their friends and relatives in their workplace. A total of 3416 participants returned a completed questionnaire and more than three-quarters of had experienced an episode of violence in the preceding six months. Participants working in the public health sector reported significantly more physically violent behaviours than their colleagues in the private sector. No statistically significant difference between the rates of violence (overall) was identified between different geographical areas. Violent behaviours were reported across all clinical settings, with emergency departments, mental health and drug and alcohol settings reporting the highest proportion of episodes. The results of this large study highlight the high levels of violence that nurses and midwives experience in the workplace across all sectors of employment, geographical regions and clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number522
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Violence on the job: The experiences of nurses and midwives with violence from patients and their friends and relatives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this