Figures show more than 600 workers are assaulted each year
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) is calling for more to be done to protect hospital staff.
It is reacting to figures in the Irish Examiner, which show more than 600 workers are assaulted each year.
Statistics from the Health Service Executive (HSE) released under Freedom of Information legislation show nearly 3,500 cases were recorded in a five and a half year period.
Frontline staff were the victims in 70% of cases of assault.
The statistics also show 521 hospital attendants were attacked, 289 care workers were assaulted and 31 porters, 19 security staff and 31 catering staff were physically and verbally abused.
Incidents were also recorded against housekeeping and maintenance staff, consultants and physiotherapists.
The majority of assailants, 771, were identified as patients. A further seven were listed as members of the public.
Four assailants were staff members, three family members, and one recorded as a prisoner.