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Trends in workplace violence in the remote area nursing workforce.

The aim of this research was to assess incidence of workplace violence in the remote area nursing workforce and to compare present data to data collected 13 years previously. The research adopted a cross-sectional design, using a structured questionnaire.

The main outcome measure was posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, as assessed using the PTSD Checklist (PCL). Findings indicate increases in all incidents of reported violence in the workplace between 1995 and 2008. Verbal aggression, property damage and physical violence are the most frequently experienced forms of violence as perpetrated directly towards remote area nurses, with statistically significant positive correlations between all types of workplace violence and PTSD symptoms.

Verbal aggression, physical violence and property damage are the most commonly witnessed forms of violence occurring between other people. Statistically significant positive correlations were also found between each type of witnessed violence and PTSD symptoms, excluding sexual abuse/assault. Nurses working in very remote regions in Australia are fearful for their personal safety.

The researchers conclude that working in fear for your personal safety can function as a major occupational stressor. The research has implications for the implementation of workplace policies that target the identification, management and prevention of violence in the remote area nursing workforce.
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Title Annotation:AJAN update
Author:Opie, Tessa; Lenthall, Sue; Dollard, Maureen; Wakerman, John; MacLeod, Martha; Knight, Sabina; Dunn,
Publication:The Lamp
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Aug 1, 2010
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