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Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Aggression and violence – a problem in Irish Accident and Emergency departments?

J Nurs Manag. 2006 Mar;14(2):106-15.
Aggression and violence – a problem in Irish Accident and Emergency departments?
‘Ryan D, Maguire J.
Department of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.’

Health care employees are more likely than other workers to be victims of violence or aggression. Results from one Australian study suggest that 30% of respondents experienced aggression on a daily or near daily basis. In an Irish context, a total of 22% of all reported injuries in the health and social sector related to injuries inflicted by another person. However, both in Ireland and internationally, there has been an inadequate categorization of the types of incident to which staff are exposed. This contributes to definitional difficulties as well as problems in comparing research findings and using such findings to make work environments safe. The current study aimed to identify the types of violent or aggressive incidents that staff in Irish Accident and Emergency departments were exposed to within a month long period. A cross-sectional study was undertaken with all nurses (N = 80) working in Accident and Emergency departments in two sites nationally as part of a larger study of aggression and violence in health services looking at both Mental Health Services and Accident and Emergency departments. Data were collected using the Scale of Aggressive and Violent Experiences – questionnaire adapted from the Perception of Prevalence of Aggression Scale. The questionnaire captured data on personal and professional demographics as well as experiences of aggressive or violent incidents respondents may have encountered ‘in their work situation’. There was a response rate of 46% (n = 37). Data were analysed utilizing spss-11. The relevant data were subjected to a series of one-way anovas and chi-square analysis. The findings suggest that nursing staff in Accident and Emergency departments experienced high levels of verbal aggression. Additionally, they encountered violence or aggression that is vicariously experienced more than forms that were overtly directed towards staff. It is a matter of concern that less than one-third of staff in this study reported that they had training in the management of aggression and violence. The implications will be discussed in relation to both policy and practice.
MeSH Terms: Aggression* – Cross-Sectional Studies – Emergency Service, Hospital/manpower* – Humans – Interpersonal Relations – Ireland – Nursing Staff, Hospital* – Occupational Health* – Violence/statistics & numerical data* – Workplace

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