Violence by patient and relatives against emergency service personnel
Gülten Sucu, Fatma Cebeci, Ebru Karazeybek
Akdeniz Üniversitesi Antalya Sağlık Yüksekokulu, Cerrahi Hastalıkları Hemşireliği Anabilim Dalı, Antalya
Objectives: This study was conducted to determine the act of violence by patients and their relatives against the staff working in emergency departments and emergency medical services.
Materials and Methods: This study was conducted by 289 participants working in the Emergency Departments of Antalya Atatürk and Antalya State Hospitals, Akdeniz University Hospital and Emergency Medical Services System (112) between February 1 and June 15, 2006. Study forms including the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants and the violence they had been exposed by the patients and their relatives were set up by the researchers. The volunteers were included into the study after an explantation about the study.
Results: 94.5% of the participants stated to be exposed to verbal attack and 62.3% of them to physical force. 50.8% of these violence occurred between 19.00 and 24.00. The most common places that violence occured were the intervention room (42.4%), patient observation unit (36.9%) and the venue (33.3%). Although only 23.4% of them reported the violence, this rate was high among participants trained on the prevention of attacks and violence (66.6%). 77.9% of the study participants stated that they would be interested on receiving training on this issue. Woman, ambulance drivers and the stuff working in Antalya Public Hospital were exposed much more to violence than the the other groups.
Conclusion: Emergency medicine staff were heavily exposed to violence by patients and their relatives and these attacks threats their lifes. Although the rate of statement of these attacks to the legal authorities is generally low, this rate is high among the stuff trained on violence before. There is also a lack of recording system and a database for violence. The education of emergency medicine stuff on preventing the violence should augment the statements of violence to legal authorities. This study should be confirmed by further studies conducted in other areas and hospitals.