Title

Occupational and Demographic Factors Associated with Violence in the Emergency Department

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Violence against health care workers is a serious and growing problem. The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to (a) describe the frequency of workplace violence (WPV) against emergency department (ED) workers; (b) identify demographic and occupational characteristics related to WPV; and (c) identify demographic and occupational characteristics related to feelings of safety and level of confidence when dealing with WPV. Survey data were collected from 213 workers at 6 hospital EDs. Verbal and physical violence was prevalent in all 6 EDs. There were no statistically significant differences in the frequency of violence for age, job title, patient population, and hospital location. Sexual harassment was the only category of violence affected by gender with females having a greater frequency. Feelings of safety were positively related to the frequency of WPV. Females were significantly more likely to feel unsafe and have less confidence in dealing with WPV. The study findings indicate that all ED workers are at risk of violence, regardless of personal and occupational characteristics. Feelings of safety are related to job satisfaction and turnover. Violence has serious consequences for the employers, employees, and patients. It is recommended that administration, managers, and employees collaborate to develop and implement prevention strategies to reduce and manage the violence.

DOI

10.1097/TME.0b013e3182330530