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  1. Canton, Allison N. BA
  2. Sherman, Martin F. PhD
  3. Magda, Lori A. BA
  4. Westra, Leah J. BA
  5. Pearson, Julie M. BA
  6. Raveis, Victoria H. PhD
  7. Gershon, Robyn R.M. DrPH


Workplace violence, defined as violent acts directed toward workers, includes physical assault, threat of assault, and verbal abuse (Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA], 2004) and is widely recognized as a threat to workers' health and safety. Healthcare workers, especially nurses, are known to be at high risk (Duhart, 2001). As employees who work alone, have access to drugs, provide care to people in distress, and/or have frequent close contact with clients, they face a greater likelihood of exposure to violence (Chappell & Di Martino, 2000). Nurses' risk has been correlated with degree of patient contact; the odds of physical violence are 7.2 and 9.0 times greater for healthcare workers with moderate and high patient contact, respectively, compared with those with little or no contact (Findorff et al., 2004).