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Emergency room with high risk of assault



Workroom workers are at high risk for physical and verbal abuse, a study from the American College of Emergency Physicians revealed Monday.

In a survey of more than 100 doctors, residents and staff at an emergency department, more than three quarters said they had experienced a violent attack in the past 12 months, and one in five emergency physicians said they had been attacked or affected by violence at work in the past year. Nearly 90% of residents also said they had experienced verbal abuse of a patient in the past 12 months, compared to 80% of other healthcare professionals.

Of the respondents who said they had experienced physical abuse or violence, 19% said they did not discuss the incident with anyone and only 20% submitted a previous incident report to the hospital or police. Among the residents, 96% had not submitted a formal report and only discussed the incident with a colleague or none at all.

Less than a quarter of the residents surveyed said they believed that protocols for the prevention of violence in the workplace were adequate; 30% said they were not inadequate and 46% said they were unsure or unfamiliar with the protocols.

The complete study was published in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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