If you experience aggression or violence at work, there are things you can do to look after yourself and your colleagues.
Being informed, talking to your manager and seeking support as soon as an incident of aggression or violence occurs leads to better health outcomes.
Occupational aggression and violence refers to any incident in which an employee is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances arising out of, or during the course of, their work and includes:
- verbal, physical or psychological abuse
- threats or other intimidating behaviours
- physical attacks, such as hitting, pinching or scratching
- aggravated assault
- threats with a weapon or objects, or
- sexual harassment and sexual assault.
You may be the direct target or witness violence against somebody else.
Work-related violence on nurses, midwives and students may cause immediate harm or have cumulative long-term implications for health and wellbeing. It is essential that workplaces adopt a zero-tolerance approach to occupational violence and show strong leadership on this issue.
Occupational health and safety policies and procedures, audits, risk assessments, staff training and comprehensive incident reporting systems are vital to reducing aggression and violence in the workplace.
While nurses and midwives take on the role of caring for others, it is crucial they look after themselves and their colleagues. The health and wellbeing of nurses and midwives is an important part of a quality health service.