Nurse Abuse Essay

Total Length: 736 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 5

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1. Hospitals are sensitive practice areas, in which patients and their families may experience a wide range of uncomfortable and potentially destructive emotions like anger, frustration, despair, and grief. Sometimes nurses become the scapegoat for patient anger, and sometimes, patient anger may even be correctly addressed at a nurse who has committed an error or who has demonstrated lack of respect in some way. Yet physical and verbal abuse of nurses is problematic and undermines the fundamental tenets of healthcare. In most cases, patient abuse of nurses leads to disruptions in care throughout the hospital due to the physical or psychological damages suffered by the nurse in such cases (Esposito, 2017). Experiences of violence and verbal abuse are also responsible for many cases of nurse turnover (Truman, Berger & Topp, 2013). According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of intentionally caused injuries on the job is higher among nurses in the hospital setting than in any other private sector (Thayer & Leone, 2017). Verbal abuse is extremely common, with weekly occurrences being reported (Truman, Berger & Topp, 2013).

Given the prevalence of patient/family abuse of nurses in the hospital setting, conducting research in this area was relatively straightforward.
I began with a global search of the phrase “patients and families abusing nurses in the hospital setting.” Both scholarly and Internet sources were forthcoming. Therefore, the search was then narrowed to date of publication, and types of abuse, limited to sources published in peer-reviewed journals. Likewise, the search can also differentiate between types of studies including qualitative and quantitative research versus general commentaries or phenomenological reports.

2. Peer-review is integral to scholarly research and has been called “the cornerstone of our scientific activities,” (Gannon, 2001, p. 743). The process of peer-review is, as the term suggests, involves the submission of research reports to a community of one’s peers or colleagues. Often, the peer review process is conducted to determine which research papers will be selected for publication in a peer-reviewed journal (Novella, 2008). Peers possess expertise that can be used to critically assess a paper or research, and deem whether the methodology used is valid and the results presented credible and relevant. Peer review is therefore a “quality control filter,” (Novella, 2008, p. 1).

As important as peer-review is to the scientific process, it is also important to acknowledge some of its potential limitations….....

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Esposito, L. (2017). Nurses face more violence from hospital patients. U.S. News. Jan 18, 2017.

Gannon, F. (2001). The essential role of peer review. EMBO Reports 2(9): 743.

Novella, S. (2008). The importance and limitations of peer-review. Science-Based Medicine, Sept 3, 2008,

Thayer, K. & Leone, J. (2017). As hospital violence grows, nurses seek reforms. Chicago Tribune, Aug 11, 2017,

Truman, A., Berger, J. & Topp, R. (2013). Verbal abuse of pediatric nurses by patients and families. Kentucky Nurse, Jan/Feb 2013: 6,

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