This work explores the psychiatric nurses’ experiences of workplace violence perpetrated by psychiatric patients. Working with patients with psychiatric disorders can be challenging. Violent behaviors can sometimes escalate and lead to coercive measures such as physical restraint or seclusion. The first manuscript in this portfolio, To Use or Not to Use: Physical Restraint in Adult Psychiatry, will present evidence for and evidence against the nurse’s conscientious objection to follow the doctor’s order to restrain the patient after the patient immediately stopped the aggressive behavior. The second manuscript, Workplace Violence Interventions for Psychiatric Nurses, discusses different interventions for psychiatric nurses to mitigate workplace violence. The third manuscript, “Fish in a Barrel”: Workplace Violence and Psychiatric Nurses’ Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, presents the research conducted. An exploratory, descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted to explore the relationships between demographic factors and professional characteristics, workplace violence exposure, levels of perceived stress, social support, and levels of posttraumatic stress symptoms. An open-ended question was used to explore psychiatric nurses’ perceptions on workplace violence against nurses perpetrated by psychiatric patients; responses to this question are presented in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 presents a summary and recommendations.

Date of publication

Summer 8-31-2020

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Beth Mastel-Smith, Dr. Melinda Hermanns, Dr. Lois Moylan



Available for download on Thursday, September 01, 2022

Included in

Nursing Commons