Date of Conferral





Health Services


Robert Hoye


Despite the high incidence of violence directed at registered nurses while on duty, there is limited qualitative data that explores the lived experience of returning to the workplace after an assaultive incident. This phenomenological study sought to explore and analyze the phenomena of registered nurses who are employed in high-risk settings. The research questions considered the detailed descriptions of the experiences of nurses returning to the workplace. The conceptual framework was resiliency, as these participants continued to survive and thrive after the adverse assaultive events. Data were collected using in-depth interviews from purposeful sampling. Registered nurses working in the high risk areas of inpatient psychiatry and emergency departments provided detailed descriptions about the phenomena. Data management was an inductive, iterative analysis completed and facilitated by the use of NVivo 10 software program. The study found that participants had a brief emotional response post assault mitigated by the community of nursing personal from their immediate surroundings and that assault is "part of the job." Providing a true culture of safety would include enhancements to the internal community of bedside nursing practice. In addition, research is needed on interventions that can effectively enhance the internal community after assault by patients. This study contributes to positive social change by providing registered nurses, an oppressed group, and a "voice" to mitigate negative consequences associated with assault in the hospital setting.