Verbal abuse facing Saudi nurses during internship program

Maram Banakhar, Maha Alzahrani, Amani Omar Essa, Asal Fathi Al-dhahry, Rahma Farooq Batwa, Renan Suliman Salem


Background: Verbal abuse, in the context of workplace violence, is increasing, with nurses at high liability of being subjected to it since they are the first line of care delivery. This phenomenon is now receiving greater recognition due to its negative impact on nurses. This study aims to assess the prevalence of verbal abuse faced by Saudi nursing intern students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted via a modified online questionnaire completed by Saudi intern nurses in Jeddah in March 2020. Descriptive statistical analysis was executed using statistical software SPSS Version 21.

Results: From a total of 132 nurses, 94 participants met the study criteria. The findings show that 39.4% of Saudi intern nurses have experienced verbal abuse. The common perpetrators are patient/client (73%) and other staff members (73%), followed by patients’ relatives (45.9%). 48.6% of the participants did not report incidences of verbal abuse, commonly citing fear of the negative consequences (51.4%) and not knowing who to report it to (45.9%). A significant relation between working night shifts (6 pm to 7 am) and being verbally abused was found.

Conclusions: Saudi nursing interns are vulnerable to verbal abuse. This study’s results highlight the possible risk to nursing interns, which may be diminished by modifying perceptions of verbal abuse and by clarifying the rules and regulations for both nursing interns and suspected perpetrators. We recommend future studies of verbal abuse are conducted in larger groups of nurses across different provinces in Saudi Arabia.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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