Sentinel Event Alert 59: Physical and verbal violence against health care workers

“I’ve been bitten, kicked, punched, pushed, pinched, shoved, scratched, and spat upon,” says Lisa Tenney, RN, of the Maryland Emergency Nurses Association. “I have been bullied and called very ugly names. I’ve had my life, the life of my unborn child, and of my other family members threatened, requiring security escort to my car.”

Situations such as these describe some of the types of violence directed toward health care workers. Workplace violence is not merely the heinous, violent events that make the news; it is also the everyday occurrences, such as verbal abuse, that are often overlooked. 

Sentinel Event Alert