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Kim and Yi: Influence of Verbal Abuse on Job Stress for Special Unit Nurses and General Ward Nurses in General Hospitals



It is expected that there will be a difference in job stress between special unit (operating room, anesthesia room) nurses and general ward nurses in general hospitals, but factors influencing job stress have not been examined. This study reports on research to examine the sources of verbal abuse in the workplace.


Participants were 243 nurses (special unit 112, general ward 132) working in a hospital in I city. Data collection period was March 18 to March 25, 2016 and questionnaires were used to collect data. Comparison of differences in influence of verbal abuse on job stress between special unit and general ward nurses was analyzed with multiple hierarchical regression.


In special unit nurses, verbal abuse from doctors and/or nurses influenced their job stress (Adj. R2=.545). In general ward nurses, verbal abuse from patients and/or care-givers influenced their job stress (Adj. R2=.241).


Findings indicate a need to campaign for increase respect among nurse-doctor, nurse-nurse, and nurse-patients/care givers because verbal abuse from doctors, nurses, and patients/care-givers causes negative attitudes in nurses. General ward nurses in particular should provide sufficient explanation to patients about nursing services because verbal abuse from patients/care-givers is related to their complaints about nursing care.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

General Characteristics of Nurses, and Correlation between Verbal Abuse Experience and Job Stress


SUN=Special unit nurses; WN=Ward nurses.

Table 2

Verbal Abuse Experience and Reasons for Verbal Abuse (N=243)


SUN=Special unit nurses; WN=Ward nurses.

Table 3

Verbal Abuse and Job Stress according to General Characteristics of Special Unit Nurses (N=112)


a, b: Duncan's multiple comparisons; VAD=Verbal abuse from doctors; VAN=Verbal abuse from nurses; VAPC=Verbal abuse from patients and/or care-givers.

Table 4

Verbal Abuse and Job Stress according to General Characteristics in Ward Nurses (N=131)


a, b, c: Duncan's multiple comparisons; VAD=Verbal abuse from doctors; VAN=Verbal abuse from nurses; VAPC=Verbal abuse from patients and/or care-givers.

Table 5

Factors Influencing Job Stress (N=243)


*Dummy variables: gender (male=0), marital status (single=0), position (head nurse=0), education (graduate school=0), training in coping (no=0); Dummy variables: marital status (single=0), training in coping (no=0).


This article is a revision of the first author's master's thesis from Gachon University.


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