Witnessing violence: what are the experiences of mental health nurses?
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Witnessing violence: what are the experiences of mental health nurses?

David Jeffery Advanced nurse practitioner, AVERTS department, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Pauline Fuller Senior lecturer/award leader for the professional doctorate in health and wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton

Mental health nurses in the UK are ten times more likely to be assaulted than general nurses. Research on this is increasing, but evidence on the effects of violence on staff witnesses is lacking. Ten semi-structured interviews with witnesses were conducted. In addition to the known effects on those who experience assault, analysis revealed anger, fear and guilt, leaving them seeking resolution on five identified themes relating to personal and professional conflict. Witnesses of violence were drawn towards informal forums for support, reinforcing perceptions of management as uncaring. Further research into psychiatric nurses' lived experience of debrief and support in the workplace is needed.

Mental Health Practice. 20, 2, 15-21. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2016.e1100



Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 15 July 2015

Accepted: 04 April 2016

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