Young nurses and experiences of aggression: a qualitative content alanysis

Peter, Karin; Hahn, Sabine (October 2015). Young nurses and experiences of aggression: a qualitative content alanysis In: The 9th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry. Copenhagen. 22.10.2015-24.10.2015.

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Keywords: Aggression, qualitative research, burden, nurses, general hospital Introduction: Nursing staff all over the world is affected by patient and visitor aggression during daily works (Jackson, Clare & Mannix, 2002). The effects from aggression can be physically and psychologically damaging (Rippon, 2000). Most studies on patient and visitor violence have been conducted in either mental health or emergency care settings (Estryn-Behar, van der Heijden, Camerino, Fry, Le Nezet, Conway et al.,2008). However, in the general hospital setting, healthcare professionals encounter aggression from patients as well as from visitors. The study of Hahn, Müller, Hantikainen, Kok, Dassen and Halfens (2012) indicated that almost 85% of Swiss health care professionals working in a general hospital had experienced aggression by patients or visitors during their career. Young nurses are increasingly affected by aggression and this can lead to their premature departure from the profession. Nevertheless, little knowledge exists regarding their experiences with aggression. Therefore, this study focuses on the experiences of young nurses in regards to patient and visitor violence in Swiss hospitals, in order to describe their experiences with patient and visitor aggression. Method: In this qualitative pilot study a descriptive design was used. The convenience sample included 13 registered nurses between 23 and 28 years of age, working in different settings in general hospitals. The face-to-face interviews lasted 20 to 50 minutes and were conducted in a location (at home, at the workplace, in a quiet restaurant) chosen by the participants. Data was collected utilizing a semi- structured interview. All sessions were audio-recorded. The collected data was transcribed and analysed using content analysis according to Mayring (2010). In a first step, the coding process was conducted by one of the authors of this study. In a second step, the codes were discussed in the research team and the main categories were developed by all of the team members. Findings: 12 females and 1 male who were employed in medical, surgical, emergency or private wards, and who had an average age of 25.2 years and 2.6 years (1/2 years to 6 years) of work experience, were interviewed. The data from the interviews can be described in the following five main categories: prototype of aggression, the attitude relation to patient and visitor aggression and the explanatory models of how young nurses explore the patient and visitor violence. Scenarios of aggressive situations Arising from the experiences of the young nurses, five scenarios of aggressive situations were synthesized: The first scenario is centred on a 80 year old woman with dementia who is experiencing postoperative delirium after undergoing cardic surgery. She becomes physically and verbally aggresive in the emergency department and also later on in the surgical ward. the third scenario focuses on a 50-year old woman who has no cognitive impairment but is verbally aggressive towards the night shift nurse. The fourth scenario concerns a 80 year old man in a postoperative delirium who does not understand the language of the nurses and is verbally and physically aggressive. The fifth scenario focuses on a mother of a patient in the surgical ward. She disagrees with the wound care management provided by the nurses and becomes verbally aggressive.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


School of Health Professions


Peter, Karin and
Hahn, Sabine0000-0002-2697-2014






Sabine Hahn

Date Deposited:

20 Feb 2020 08:40

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2021 11:39




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