Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 4 types of workplace violence?

Type 1: Criminal Intent

Violent acts by criminals who have no other connection with the workplace but enter to commit robbery or another crime.


Type 2: Customer/Client

Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or others for whom an organization provides services.


Type 3: Worker-on-Worker

Violence against coworkers, supervisors, or managers by a present or former employee.


Type 4: Personal Relationship

Violence committed in the workplace by someone who doesn’t work there but has a personal relationship with an employee (such as an abusive spouse or domestic partner).

What is the most common type of workplace violence?

Type 2 workplace violence is particularly common in healthcare settings due to several reasons:

  • Emotional Stress: Healthcare workers often deal with patients who are in pain, distress, or emotional turmoil. This can lead to heightened emotions and, in some cases, aggressive behavior.
  • Challenging Patients: Some patients may have mental health issues, substance abuse problems, or cognitive impairments. These conditions can lead to unpredictable behavior.
  • Visitor and Family Aggression: Visitors and family members of patients may become agitated or frustrated, especially during difficult medical situations. They might direct their anger toward healthcare staff.
  • High-Stakes Environment: Healthcare decisions can be life or death. When emotions run high, conflicts may escalate.
How does workplace violence impact turnover?

Workplace violence in healthcare can indeed lead to employee turnover. The impact of violence on healthcare workers can be significant, affecting their job satisfaction, well-being, and overall career trajectory. Here are some reasons why it contributes to turnover:

  1. Physical and Emotional Toll: Experiencing violence takes a toll on healthcare professionals physically and emotionally. The stress, fear, and trauma associated with such incidents can lead to burnout and a desire to leave the profession.
  2. Feeling Unsafe: When healthcare workers consistently face violence, they may no longer feel safe at work. This lack of safety can erode job satisfaction and make them consider leaving for a safer environment.
  3. Decreased Job Satisfaction: Feeling unsupported or vulnerable due to workplace violence can lead to decreased job satisfaction. Employees who are unhappy with their work environment are more likely to seek other opportunities.
  4. Health Consequences: Workplace violence can result in physical injuries, mental health issues (such as anxiety or PTSD), and chronic stress. These health consequences can impact an employee’s ability to perform their job effectively and may prompt them to seek alternative employment.
  5. High Turnover Costs: Organizations incur costs related to recruitment, training, and onboarding of new employees. Frequent turnover due to workplace violence can strain resources and affect overall productivity.
  6. Impact on Patient Care: When healthcare workers leave due to violence, it affects patient care continuity. High turnover disrupts team dynamics and can lead to gaps in service provision.

Efforts to prevent workplace violence, provide support for affected employees, and create a safe work environment are essential in retaining skilled healthcare professionals.

How does workplace violence impact the bottom line?
  • Cost of Replacing Staff: When violence happens, workers might leave. Finding and training new people costs a lot.
  • Decreased Productivity: Violence can make it hard for workers to focus. They might miss work or not do as much.
  • Lawsuits: If a company is responsible for violence, they might have to pay victims or fines.
  • Bad Reputation: Violence hurts a company's image.
  • Low Morale: nurses are not excited at work because they are constantly fearing workplace violence.
What are the direct costs of nurse turnover?
  1. Recruiting a Replacement: This involves expenses related to hiring new nurses. It includes recruitment fees, background checks, and the time spent by others in your company on the hiring process.
  2. Advertising: To attract potential candidates, you’ll need to spend money on job advertisements. Costs may include marketing, paid ads, and other advertising expenses.
  3. Onboarding: Providing access to onboarding documentation, new nurse equipment, paperwork, benefits packages, and granting access to company resources.
  4. Interview and Assessment Time: The hours your team spends reviewing resumes, preparing for and conducting interviews, and ultimately selecting a replacement.
  5. Training New Nurses: Once you hire a new nurse, investing time in training and coaching them on the job is essential. The cumulative hours spent on training can add up quickly.

Now, let’s explore the indirect costs associated with nurse turnover:

  1. Knowledge Loss: With each departing  nurse, valuable knowledge and expertise leave the organization. This loss can impact productivity and hinder smooth operations.
  2. Productivity Dip: Expect a decrease in production from the exiting nurse as they transition out. Additionally, there will be a learning curve for the replacement nurse.
  3. Trade Secrets: Your loss can become another company’s gain. Expert insider knowledge might be shared with competitors if they hire your former nurses.
  4. Lost Motivation: High turnover can demotivate current nurses, leading to decreased morale and productivity.
  5. Morale Impact: Frequent turnover can create a sense of instability, making nurses feel like they’re “on a sinking ship.”

Remember, both direct and indirect costs contribute to the overall impact of turnover on your organization.

What are the benefits of reducing workplace violence?

Reducing workplace violence in hospitals offers significant benefits for both employees and the organization. Let’s explore these advantages:

  1. Enhanced Employee Well-Being: A safer work environment reduces the risk of physical harm, emotional trauma, and stress for healthcare workers. Improved well-being leads to higher job satisfaction and better mental health.
  2. Improved Patient Safety: When healthcare staff feel safe, they can focus more on patient care. Reduced violence means fewer disruptions, allowing for better attention to patients’ needs and safety.
  3. Higher Staff Retention: A safe workplace encourages staff to stay in their roles. Lower turnover rates save costs associated with recruitment, training, and onboarding.
  4. Positive Organizational Culture: Addressing violence fosters a culture of respect, trust, and collaboration. Employees are more likely to engage in teamwork and support each other.
  5. Better Quality of Care: Reduced stress and burnout among healthcare workers positively impact patient outcomes. High-stress environments can lead to errors and compromised care.
  6. Cost Savings: Fewer incidents mean fewer medical treatments for injured staff. Additionally, lower turnover reduces recruitment and training expenses.
  7. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Hospitals that actively prevent workplace violence align with regulatory requirements and demonstrate commitment to safety.
What is panic button hesitation?

Panic button hesitation, or delay in help-seeking, refers to the time elapsed from the first sign of a person in distress to when help is sought. This phenomenon can be influenced by several factors:

  • Fear of Consequences: There might be fear of potential consequences, such as being blamed for causing the situation.
  • Personal Image: Individuals might want to be viewed as competent and capable of handling situations on their own.
  • Embarrassment: The individual might feel embarrassed if it turns out to be a false alarm.
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf Effect: If an individual has previously raised false alarms, they might hesitate to seek help during a real emergency for fear of not being taken seriously.
  • Fear of Overreacting: Similarly to patient delay syndrome, people might underestimate the seriousness of the situation and believe that it isn’t serious enough to justify pressing the panic button because they believe they can handle it themselves.

These factors can contribute to significant delays in seeking help, potentially exacerbating the situation. It’s important to address these concerns and ensure that individuals feel comfortable seeking help when needed. Panic Button Hesitation is similar to Patient Delay Syndrome when stroke or heart attack victims don't call ambulance until it’s too late.

What is Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs?

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is like a ladder showing what people need to be happy. For nurses, at the bottom are things like fair pay, a safe workplace, and access to necessary resources. Then, they want to be recognized for their hard work and have chances to grow in their careers. Next, they want to feel like they're part of a team and supported by their coworkers. At the top, they want to know they're making a real difference in people's lives through their work.  It's like climbing steps: you need the bottom ones first before you can reach the top.

How does infrared work?

When the button is pressed, an infrared light floods the entire room and the signal is picked up by the receiver.

What does ligature resistant mean?

"Ligature resistant" in healthcare refers to features or designs of equipment, furniture, or fixtures that are specifically engineered to prevent patients from using them to harm themselves by attaching a ligature (such as a rope, cord, or belt) to create a potentially lethal choking or strangulation hazard. In healthcare facilities, particularly in psychiatric units or areas where patients may be at risk of self-harm, ligature-resistant products are essential to ensuring patient safety. These products are typically designed with smooth, rounded edges and no protruding parts where a ligature could be attached.

What is the BRT in behavioral health?

In the context of behavioral health environments, "BRT team" refers to a "Behavioral Response Team." Behavioral Response Teams are commonly established in healthcare or mental health settings to address and manage challenging or crisis situations involving patients or clients.

The team typically includes professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and security personnel. Their primary focus is on assessing and de-escalating challenging behaviors, ensuring the safety of both patients and staff, and providing appropriate interventions and support.

What is the cost to replace a nurse in the USA?

The cost to replace a nurse in the U.S. can vary significantly based on factors such as recruitment expenses, training, and the time it takes to fill the position. Estimates suggest that replacing a nurse can cost anywhere from 50% to 200% of the nurse's annual salary. This cost includes advertising, recruiting fees, onboarding, orientation, and potential temporary staffing during the vacancy. Keep in mind that these figures are general estimates, and the actual cost can vary depending on the specific circumstances and practices of the healthcare institution.

The team typically includes professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and security personnel. Their primary focus is on assessing and de-escalating challenging behaviors, ensuring the safety of both patients and staff, and providing appropriate interventions and support.

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