Waikato District Health Board says a growing lack of respect for nurses and doctors has caused a sharp increase in assaults on staff.
More than 250 staff were assaulted in 2012, some 70 up from the previous year and an increase of almost 100 cases per year in since 2011.
Security manager Dean Ria said staff need to learn to draw the line between caring for a patient and being punching bags.
He said people no longer treat hospitals with respect and dignity and he is staggered by the amount of abuse staff have to deal with on a daily basis.
Mr Ria said the DHB is working closely with police to reduce assault numbers.