ANA: 'zero tolerance' for bullies at work

A leading long-term care nurses group is praising the American Nurses Association's new “zero tolerance” policy regarding violence and bullying in healthcare workplaces.

In announcing the new policy, the ANA cited a survey of 3,765 registered nurses that found almost one-fourth of respondents said that they  had been physically assaulted at work by a patient or a patient's family member. 

The survey also found that up to half of nurses had been bullied in some manner by a peer or a person in a higher level of authority. ANA defined bullying as actions meant to humiliate or cause distress.

Violence against healthcare workers, especially nursing assistants, should be handled with more scrutiny by long-term care providers, said Charlotte Eliopoulos, RN, MPH, Ph.D., executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Nursing Executives.

“Studies have shown that more than half of certified nursing assistants are victims of assault and battery at least once every week,” Eliopoulos told McKnight's. “Staff need to be better prepared to identify violence-prone individuals, prevent violent acts, and manage them, should they occur.”