The Question of Intent

Nurses will sometimes excuse acts of violence if they consider them to be "unintentional" such as when they are committed by someone who is heavily medicated or cognitively impaired. The NACNEP 5th report cites a survey of emergency room nurses in which 76% said their decision to report would be based on whether the patient was perceived as being responsible for their action.

Psychologically, it may be easier to excuse unintended physical or verbal assault, but failing to report such incidents can hinder workplace violence prevention efforts and lead to future incidents (Hoff & Slatin, 2006).

Page last reviewed: February 7, 2020