What is Workplace Violence?

VUAH Cares About Your Safety

Nearly 80% of nurses and doctors have been assaulted at some point during their career, and the widely recognized problems associated with burnout and compassion fatigue are taking an enormous toll on our caregivers

Abusive or Disrespectful Behavior:
Conduct or comments that are inappropriate, demeaning, or otherwise offensive and create an uncomfortable, hostile, and/or intimidating environment. This may include any direct or indirect act or threat of violence, sexual and other harassment, intimidation or other threatening behavior that occurs at the workplace. This includes acts of violence committed by or against workforce members, patients, learners, and visitors. 

Examples of such behavior include but are not limited to the following:  

  1. Bullying
    Unwanted offensive and malicious behavior that undermines an individual or group through persistently negative attacks. The behavior generally includes an element of vindictiveness, and is intended to undermine, patronize, humiliate, intimidate, or demean the recipient.
  2. Intimidation
    Including, but not limited to unwarranted behavior intended to frighten, coerce, or induce duress.
  3. Physical Attack
    Unwanted or hostile physical contact including but not limited to spitting, grabbing, hitting, fighting, shoving, restraining, or throwing objects.
  4. Sexual Harassment
    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
  5. Property Damage
    Intentional or reckless damage to property owned by VUMC, workforce members, learners, or visitors.
  6. Stalking
    Harassing or pestering an individual in person, in writing, by telephone, or by electronic format. Stalking also involves following an individual, spying on them, alarming the recipient, or causing them distress and may involve physical violence or the fear of physical violence.
  7. Threat
    Expression of intent to cause physical or mental harm. An expression constitutes a threat without regard to whether the party communicating the threat has the present ability to carry out the threat and without regard to whether the expression is contingent, conditional, or future.
  8. Weapons
    Any objects that may be used to intimidate, attack, or injure another person, or to damage property. Objects understood to have a primary function as a weapon are not allowed on VUAH property unless expressly authorized under this policy or under State law.