*NEW* NDNQI Nursing Indicator: Assaults on Nursing Personnel
Currently, the Workplace Safety Committee reviews all monthly workplace events for all hospital employees and they will continue this process and their good work in this area.
NDNQI provides AAMC the ability to benchmark ourselves against other NDNQI hospitals in the area of nursing assaults. In addition, the unit level monthly nursing assault data has been added to the Nursing Quality Dashboards. This allows each unit the opportunity to review their data and determine if interventions and action plans are warranted.
What does the data show: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16,890 workers in the private industry experienced trauma from nonfatal workplace violence in 2016.
Of those victims:
- 70% were female
- 67% were aged 25 to 54
- 70% worked in the healthcare and social assistance industry
- 21% required 31 or more days away from work to recover, and 19% involved 3 to 5 days away from work
It is also well documented in the literature that nurses underreport assaults that occur on the job. There is a healthcare culture that considers violence as part of the job and violent incidents as routine. Many times nurses feel that the incident is not serious enough to report and have a practice of not reporting unintentional violence, e.g., incidents involving confused older adults. Both the American Nurses Association, the Maryland Nurses Association, and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses have published position papers over the past few years to bring awareness of workplace violence on nurses.
Know the NDNQI definitions:
Assault: Forcible, unwanted physical or sexual contact in the workplace by anyone: patient, co-worker, visitor, volunteer, another hospital employee, etc. Also includes spitting, thrown objects, or thrown other bodily fluids. This includes assaults by delirious patients whether they are going through DTs or have dementia. An example could include being scratched by a patient when you are obtaining a blood pressure.
What NDNQI does not classify as the assault: Accidental contact, for example, the patient passes out on a nurse or the patient opens the door and accidentally hits the PCT with the door. Also, behavior related to unintentional or accidental contact, as related to an injury sustained by a staff member while a patient is having a seizure.
How to report: According to hospital policy, all workplace assaults must be reported to your clinical supervisor or manager and they will assist you through the process (Policy ADM1.1.56-Workplace Safety & Policy HR8.7.04-Employees Injured or Ill on Duty).
The employee must complete an Employee Statement of Accident/Injury form, even if there is no apparent injury, contact the Employee health Office and complete an Employee Event RL6. In the RL6, make sure to select Assault from the event type and including information regarding the Assailant. The Assailant can be a patient and it can also be a co-worker, visitor, provider, volunteer, etc. Changes are currently being made to the RL6 system to better capture the data required for NDNQI.