Verbal Abuse among Nurses in Tertiary Care Hospitals

  • Kalpana Silwal Chitwan Medical College, Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal
  • Sarala Joshi Om Health Institute, Nursing College, Kathmandu, Nepal
Keywords: nurses; verbal abuse; workplace.


Introduction: Verbal abuse against nurses who are major working force can affect the work performance and productivity in hospital.  Verbal abuse is epidemic in tertiary care hospitals though it is most preventable with healthcare professions. The study aims to identify the prevalence of verbal abuse among nurses in a Tertiary Care Hospital.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among nurses in two tertiary care hospitals in Chitwan using self-administered questionnaire from August-December, 2018. The researcher used the convenient sampling technique and total 331 nurses were taken for the study.

Results: Prevalence of verbal abuse was found to be 122 (36.9 %) [34.25%-39.55% at 95% CI]  among nurses.  Perpetrators of the verbal abuse were  relatives of the patients 64 (48.9%) followed by staff  member 29 ( 23.77%),  patient 23 (17.6%), management  or supervisor 4 (3.1%) and from colleague 2  (1.5%). Frequency of verbal abuse as sometimes, once and all the times were 95 (77.86%), 20 (16.03%) and 7 (5.7 %) respectively. Study showed that verbal abuse was mostly done by relatives of the patient. Consequence of verbal abuse was disturbing memories, thoughts or an image ultimately reducing the job satisfaction.  No any action was taken except verbal warning for 20 (58.8%) perpetrators.

Conclusions: Verbal abuse is frequently prevalent in nurses and mostly from patient’s visitors. Hence, nurses should maintain their respect and authority otherwise it will lead to decrease in their performance that shows direct impact on patient care and consequently the effectiveness of the health care system. 


How to Cite
Silwal, K., & Joshi, S. (2019). Verbal Abuse among Nurses in Tertiary Care Hospitals. Journal of Nepal Medical Association, 57(218).
Original Article