According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when compared with other professions, healthcare workers experience the most nonfatal workplace violence by a wide margin. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), "more assaults occur in the healthcare and social services industries than in any other." Over time, there has been an under-reporting of workplace violence in the healthcare industry with the disturbing perception from employees that violence in the workplace is part of the job. A 2014 study shows that 76% of nurses experienced violence in the workplace from patients or visitors over the previous year.
Healthcare workers, especially those with direct patient contact, are exposed daily to the potential of violence, mostly coming from a patient or a patient's family member. Attacks on healthcare workers with direct patient contact account for almost 70 percent of all nonfatal workplace assaults.
Violence could also come from co-workers, strangers with access to the healthcare facility, and individuals with personal relationships to the healthcare worker, such as visiting spouses and other family members.