In this article, the author explores the issue of violence in the inpatient and outpatient hospital setting. Only recently recognized as a significant occupational hazard to nurses, violence can lead not only to physical injury hut also to prolonged and debilitating emotional, social, biophysiologic, and cognitive symptoms. The prevalence of the problem is presented, followed by a discussion of contributory factors and the effects violent incidents may have on victims. Strategies for prevention and topics for future research are identified

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