Workplace Violence in Mental Health Essay

Workplace Violence in Mental Health Essay

Problem Background

Institutions must continually evaluate their environment to ensure it is conducive for their workers and clients. Further, institutions need to mitigate risks and hazards at the workplace to ensure the safety of the workers and clients and continued productivity. One of the major threats is workplace violence, defined as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or any other threatening and unacceptable behavior” (Arbury, p267). Workplace violence and mental health are interrelated. This essay evaluates workplace violence in the context of mental health and proposes a solution to end workplace violence related to mental health.

Workplace Violence in Mental Health Essay

Workplace Violence and Nursing Practice

Workplace violence-related injuries cause significant fatal occupational injuries in the U.S., making it a significant issue for all workers nationwide (Al-Qadi, 2021). Interestingly, cases are hardly ever reported, and many organizations do not implement Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reporting regulations. Most workers are not aware of the institution’s policy on recognizing and handling workplace violence. Workplace violence has a deeper connection with mental health since more than half the perpetrators have mental health-related issues. More than half the workplace violence victims suffer psychological stress aftermath (Liu et al., 2019).

Workplace Violence in Mental Health Essay

Workplace violence is common between nurses and patients. It also occurs between nurses and between nurses and other healthcare providers. The National Safety Council is responsible for investigating and reporting workplace violence incidences under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). In 2016, the council noted that 69% of all workplace violence incidents were healthcare-related and that healthcare providers are five times exposed to the workplace environment than other workers (Pitts & Schaller, 2021). Workplace violence can cause non-fatal injuries or lead to death.

Workplace violence in healthcare can be mild to severe, ranging from mild verbal threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults that lead to morbidity and mortality. Over 25% of the nurses report physical abuse, while more than half report verbal abuse from the patients and their families (Al-Qadi, 2021). Thus, workplace violence is a significant critical issue in nursing practice.

Causes of Workplace Violence

About 80% of incidences are type two violence, meaning patient-related (Al-Qadi, 2021). Further, Al-Qadi (2021) states that poor inpatient environmental conditions, patient’s mental health illnesses, and poor communications are the major causes of workplace violence. Poor environment often causes or worsens mental issues such as psychological stress. In addition, biological factors, distress due to a disease process pathology, brain physiology problems, some medications, alcohol intake, drug abuse, and many types of psychiatric conditions are associated with workplace violence.

According to Pitts and Schaller (2021), workplace violence between nurses and other healthcare providers is related to poor communication and a stressful work environment. Misinterpreting information and misinformation adversely affect healthcare professional’s relationships and their collaboration. From analyzing the causes of workplace violence in healthcare settings, mental heal issues are the leading contributor to workplace violence in healthcare settings. Healthcare institutions thus require practical interventions to ensure their workers and clients are not exposed to workplace violence of any form since such can have far-reaching health consequences.

Proposed Intervention to Prevent Workplace Violence

To mitigate this problem of workplace violence, institutions require a strong workplace violence prevention program. Workers need awareness of the burden of workplace incidences and their adverse effects. A workplace violence training program is thus the solution of choice to mitigate workplace violence. The training program should enhance awareness, recognize risks for violence and report them, teach nurses about conflict resolution methods, and enhance workplace violence reporting (Wirth et al., 2021). In addition, OSHA guidelines can provide training topics such as de-escalation and self-defense (Arbury et al., 2017).

Given the connection between mental health issues and workplace violence, imparting nurses with the right skills can help them recognize the risk for violence within their work settings. Violence most often results from aggressive behavior and other risks for violence. These risks include exposure to violence in childhood, socioeconomic factors, and a history of psychiatric illnesses. Pitts and Schaller (2021) assert that nurses with enough knowledge and skills can predict correctly (during patient assessment) the patient at risk for being violent perpetrators using identified risks.

When workplace violence occurs inevitably, reporting is very vital. In addition, institutions have specific guidelines on handling workplace violence that all healthcare providers should know. Hence, there is a need for awareness of the burden, development of violence predicting and reporting skills, and solving workplace violence when it arises to prevent harm to the victims.

The Compliance Training Group has been one of the most successful groups in workplace violence prevention and can be a valuable resource in overseeing staff training. Workplace violence causes absenteeism, low productivity, and hiked healthcare and other costs above $120 billion every year (Groenewold et al., 2017). Thus, it is an issue of concern to nurses and other healthcare providers. Training with the Compliance Training Group may cost around $50 thousand, a considerable healthcare cost advantage.

The key partners are the institution’s management and the Compliance Training Group. While OSHA may not provide adequate clear guidelines on workplace violence prevention, the organizations must prepare a relevant policy around the issue based on existing OSHA guidelines. The institution’s management is responsible for funding the training, mobilizing the healthcare providers, and planning the event to ensure minimal interruptions to the healthcare delivery process during the training. Compliance Training Group is responsible for training the healthcare providers.

The group can execute the training in five sessions on adherence to the institution’s policy regarding workplace violence management and the OSHA workplace violence reporting guidelines (Arbury et al., 2017). The training can proceed in five sessions, each lasting one hour. The healthcare providers’ role is to participate actively, learn, teach others, and implement what they have learned.

The collaboration between the institution’s management, the Compliance Training Group, and the participants can significantly determine the event’s success. The training group is vital in delivering their best knowledge and skills in training the healthcare providers since the latter is essential in the implementation process. Without them, the training would be a waste of money with no impact. Implementing their skills has the potential of significantly preventing workplace violence in healthcare settings.

The Compliance Training Group should implement the training in a month, five-one-hour training sessions. The whole program should take a maximum of two days. During this time, the trainers shall evaluate nurses for successful learning using Kirkpatrick’s training evaluation model. Questionnaires shall be issued after the training programs to assess the trainees’ attitude towards the training and what they learned. The trainers can also utilize the teach-back method in this evaluation stage. Later, the institution should analyze statistics on workplace violence before and after the training and decide on the training effectiveness, determine gaps that still exist, and develop appropriate intervention strategies.


As a scientist, I tried to understand how workplace violence is a burden and how it impacts healthcare delivery from both the patient and the practitioners’ perspectives. I gathered substantial data to support the hypothesis that workplace violence is rampant today and is associated with mental health issues. Playing a detective, I also realized that many institutions do not report workplace violence appropriately. Finally, as a manager, I proposed a solution to reduce workplace violence related to mental health issues. I was able to create collaboration ad coherence between all stakeholders during the implementation of the proposed solution.

References for Workplace Violence in Mental Health Essay

  • Al‐Qadi, M. M. (2021). Workplace violence in nursing: A concept analysis. Journal of Occupational Health, 63(1), e12226.
  • Arbury, S., Zankowski, D., Lipscomb, J., & Hodgson, M. (2017). Workplace violence training programs for health care workers: an analysis of program elements. Workplace Health & Safety, 65(6), 266-272.
  • Groenewold, M. R., Sarmiento, R. F. R., Vanoli, K., Raudabaugh, W., Nowlin, S. & Gomaa, A. (2017). Workplace violence injury in 106 US hospitals participating in the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN), 2012-2015. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 61(2), 157–166. doi:10.1002/ajim.22798
  • Liu, J., Gan, Y., Jiang, H., Li, L., Dwyer, R., Lu, K., Yan, S., Sampson, O., Xu, H., Wang, C., Zhu, Y., Chang, Y., Yang, Y., Yang, T., Chen, Y., Song, F. & Lu, Z. (2019). Prevalence of workplace violence against healthcare workers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 76(12). doi:10.1136/oemed-2019-105849
  • Pitts, E., & Schaller, D. J. (2019). Violent Patients. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island (FL).
  • Wirth, T., Peters, C., Nienhaus, A., & Schablon, A. (2021). Interventions for Workplace Violence Prevention in Emergency Departments: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(16), 8459.