Voices from the bush: remote area nurses prioritise hazards that contribute to violence in their workplace

Kylie McCullough, Anne Williams, Suzanne Lenthall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Introduction: Remote Area Nurses (RANs) in Australia frequently encounter hazards that contribute to violence in the work place. Resources to deal with this problem are limited. Methods: Adopting a risk management approach and using the Delphi method, a panel of expert RANs (n=10) from geographically diverse communities across Australia, identified and prioritised hazards that increase the risk of violence to nurses. Results: This descriptive study found that RANs encounter a wide variety of hazards from a variety of sources. Environmental hazards are complicated by living in remote areas and practicing in different locations. Relationships between the nurse and the community can be complex and lack of experience and organisational support may contribute to an increased risk of violence. Hazards prioritised as 'major' or 'extreme' risks included: clinic maintenance and security features, attending to patients at staff residences, RAN inexperience and lack of knowledge about the community, as well as intoxicated clients with mental health issues. A work culture that accepts verbal abuse as 'part of the job' was identified as a significant organisational risk to RANs. A lack of action from management when hazards are identified by clinic staff and insufficient recognition of the risk of violence by employers were also significant hazards. Conclusions: Further consideration of the hazards described in this study following the risk management process, may provide opportunities to reduce the risk of violence towards RANs. Proposed control measures should be developed in consultation with RANs and the remote communities they work in.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1972
    Number of pages10
    JournalRural and Remote Health
    Volume12
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Delphi
    • Occupational violence
    • Remote area nursing
    • Risk assessment
    • Safety

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