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  • Writer's pictureClara Wajngurt

When Does Workplace Bullying Become Workplace Violence?

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

I read about a student nurse who tried to get a blood pressure on a post-operative patient in recovery, and the on call surgeon verbally scolding her in front of staff because she was not taking the blood pressure quickly. This example demonstrates uncivil behavior of a doctor towards a nurse.If done repetitively it turns into workplace bullying.If it appears that the doctor is about to assault the nurse--this is workplace violence.

Another time the same nurse was choked by a patient's father when the nurse asked the father to leave the the hospital room at midnight-well after visiting hours were over.The  attack caused no physical harm to the nurse but left a mental mark.This behavior demonstrates workplace violence.

Workplace Violence is defined by OSHA guidelines(Occupational  Safety and Health Administration) as 'violence or the threat of violence, physical assault or threats of assault directed toward persons at work or on duty.It can range from verbal abuse(which appear violent) to homicide.' We need to recognize workplace violence when it occurs on the job..The employer should establish a workplace violence prevention program for their employees. 

Workplace safety should be of paramount importance to everyone on the job.OSHA requires a employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all workers on the job.

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