Edward, Karen-Leigh, Warelow, Philip, Ousey, Karen and Lui, Steve (2013) Working with your team to minimize the impact of anticipatory anxiety in relation to aggression towards nurses. In: 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference Collaboration and Partnerships in Mental Health Nursing, 22nd - 24th October 2014, Perth, Australia. (Unpublished)

Personal or vicarious experience of aggression or hostility in the workplace can lead to serious consequences for the nurse, the patient, patient care and the health care organisation. Aggression (that may result in physical or psychological harm) toward nurses can arise from many sources: patient to nurse, relatives to nurse, nurse to nurse, and doctor/allied health to nurse. A systematic review was undertaken exploring aggression toward nurses and its impact on nursing care. Findings will be presented and include barriers and enablers for aggression in the healthcare setting such as organizational structures, attitudes and subsequent care implications. Literature suggests that exposure to numerous traumatic experiences over a lifetime of nursing, and a lack of control over these experiences, contributed to an increase in anxiety levels for nursing staff in a variety of clinical practice settings. Health care organizations need to provide information on the function of individual characteristics in the process of coping with aggression and subsequent anxiety in an effort to highlight individual coping styles for staff. Teams, partnerships and collaboration are central in offering support and resources and through this are vehicles for peer mediation and peer debriefing.

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