More than 1,800 NHS staff have been attacked by patients in Kent in the past three years, according to figures.
Tough action has been promised against attackers
The numbers were revealed during the launch of a campaign to cut the number of assaults on health care workers.
Adverts on billboards, train platforms and in pub toilets will warn offenders they face court if they attack staff.
Richard Hampton, director of NHS Security Management Service (NHS SMS), said most of the 1,870 assaults were by people who were drunk or on drugs.
He added: "This is no defence for such behaviour. The choice is yours whether you are frustrated, drunk or on drugs. You will be held accountable for your actions.
"You could end up before the courts or in prison."
To date almost 9,000 NHS staff members have been trained to deal with violent and aggressive behaviour, according to the NHS SMS.
Kent Police have backed the organisation's "Your Choice of Treatment" campaign.
Supt Peter Wedlake said: "We will ensure that anyone who commits this crime is dealt with and brought before the courts. This offence can ultimately lead to a prison sentence.
"Although we realise that people are often in stressful situations within hospital environments, this is no excuse or reason to vent their frustration or upset staff who are there to help them."