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The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association has made seven recommendations to the state government to reduce the incidences of violence and abuse in NSW health facilities.

Joint research by the NSWNMA and the University of Technology Sydney found alarming statistics of violence experienced by nurses and midwives on a daily basis.

The Violence in Nursing and Midwifery in NSW study found that:

  • 80% of participants had experienced violence in the previous six months;
  • More than half who worked in clinical areas had experienced violence;
  • Rates of violence were highest for those working in emergency, drug and alcohol and mental health;
  • 82% of nurses working in the public health sector had experienced violence in the past six months compared with 68% in the private sector;
  • A reported injury rate of 28% as a result of an episode of violence.

Psychological injuries were the most common type of injury reported after a violent incident occurred.

The survey found that nurses and midwives were selective in reporting episodes of violence; many found the reporting mechanisms overly inhibitive.

The study on workplace violence in health involved 3,612 NSW participants, and is one of the largest of its kind in both Australia and the world.

NSWNMA recommendations range from a review of strategies to prevent violence to punitive measure against employers who fail to adequately protect nurses and midwives.