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Violence toward health workers in Bahrain Defense Force Royal Medical Services’ emergency department

Authors Rafeea F, Al Ansari A, Abbas EM, Elmusharaf K, Abu Zeid MS

Received 1 August 2017

Accepted for publication 2 October 2017

Published 8 November 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 113—121


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hans-Christoph Pape

Faisal Rafeea,1 Ahmed Al Ansari,2–4 Ehab M Abbas,1 Khalifa Elmusharaf,5 Mohamed S Abu Zeid1

1Emergency Department, Bahrain Defense Force Hospital, Riffa, Bahrain; 2Training and Education Department, Bahrain Defense Force Hospital, Riffa, Bahrain; 3Department of General Surgery, College of Medicine and Medical Science, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain; 4Medical Education Department, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland - Medical University of Bahrain, Busaiteen, Bahrain; 5Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Ireland

Background: Employees working in emergency departments (EDs) in hospital settings are disproportionately affected by workplace violence as compared to those working in other departments. Such violence results in minor or major injury to these workers. In other cases, it leads to physical disability, reduced job performance, and eventually a nonconducive working environment for these workers.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional exploratory questionnaire was used to collect data used for the examination of the incidents of violence in the workplace. This study was carried out at the ED of the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) Hospital. Participants for the study were drawn from nurses, support staff, and emergency physicians. Both male and female workers were surveyed.
Results: The study included responses from 100 staff in the ED of the BDF Hospital in Bahrain (doctors, nurses, and support personnel). The most experienced type of violence in the workers in the past 12 months in this study was verbal abuse, which was experienced by 78% of the participants, which was followed by physical abuse (11%) and then sexual abuse (3%). Many cases of violence against ED workers occurred during night shifts (53%), while physical abuse was reported to occur during all the shifts; 40% of the staff in the ED of the hospital were not aware of the policies against workplace violence, and 26% of the staff considered leaving their jobs at the hospital.
Conclusion: This study reported multiple findings on the number of workplace violence incidents, as well as the characteristics and factors associated with violence exposure in ED staff in Bahrain. The results clearly demonstrate the importance of addressing the issue of workplace violence in EDs in Bahrain and can be used to demonstrate the strong need for interventions.

Keywords: emergency department, hospital safety, nurses, verbal and physical violence, workplace violence, Bahrain

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