2 Nurses Assaulted Every Hour in U.S.

As healthcare facilities managers revisit security and safety guidelines to prevent workplace violence, new statistics reveal immense challenge.

By HFT Staff
November 7, 2022

As hospitals and healthcare facilities of all kinds revisit their security and safety guidelines to prevent workplace violence, new statistics reveal the immense challenge facing healthcare facilities managers. 

More than two nurses were assaulted every hour in the United States in the second quarter of 2022, according to Press Ganey, consultants in patient, member, employee and consumer experience in healthcare. That statistic equates to roughly 57 assaults per day, 1,739 assaults per month and 5,217 assaults per quarter. 

Press Ganey’s National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators also unveiled these statistics: 

  • The highest number of assaults occurred in psychiatric units, emergency departments and pediatric units, such as pediatric burn, pediatric rehabilitation and pediatric surgery. 
  • Obstetrics and neonatal intensive care units have the lowest number of nurse assaults reported. 
  • Most assailants are patients. While patients are the largest source of violence, family members, co-workers, visitors and intruders also perpetrate violence. 
  • Most assailants are male. One exception is in pediatric units and rehabilitation units, where females are more likely than males to perpetrate violence. 
  • Psychiatric units and rehabilitation units have the largest percentage of assaults resulting in moderate or severe injuries. 

The firm recommends steps that healthcare organizations and facilities can take to mitigate violence against nurses: 

  • Implement reporting systems for record-keeping and safety and well-being program evaluation. 
  • Ensure caregiver safety is a core value, and set the expectation that violence on the job is neither expected nor accepted. 
  • Enact formal policies and procedures for risk identification, hazard prevention and control, standard response plans and post-incident support. 
  • Implement training and education programs that teach warning signs, de-escalation techniques, progressive behavior control, emergency management, and communication and teamwork. 

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