One-third of Canadian nurses report on-the-job abuse from patients

Stats Canada recently published a detailed report on the issue of patient abuse of nurses in the healthcare setting. Using data from the 2005 National Survey of the Work and Health of Nurses, the report indicates that more than one-third of nurses in Canada say they were physically assaulted by a patient in 2005. The survey of 12,200 nurses in Canada found that those working in geriatrics and long-term care were most likely to experience physical abuse.

Other areas where high percentages of nurses reported assaults were:
  • palliative care (47 per cent)
  • psychiatry/mental health (44 per cent)
  • critical care (44 per cent)
  • emergency room (42 per cent)

The incidence of emotional abuse was more common among nurses working in psychiatry or mental health (70 per cent), the emergency room (69 per cent), critical care (54 per cent), medicine/surgery (52 per cent) or geriatrics/long-term care (49 per cent).