Increased Violence Towards Health Care Staff


  • Behçet Al
  • Suat Zengin
  • Yahya Deryal
  • Cem Gökçen
  • Demet Arı Yılmaz
  • Cuma Yıldırım

Received Date: 14.05.2012 Accepted Date: 14.05.2012 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2012;11(2):115-124

Violence in healthcare from patients, relatives or any other person includes verbal or behavioral threat, physical or sexual assault that constitutes a risk to health workers. In recent years, throughout the world, violence has affected all part of society without distinguishing age, gender, race, religion, and language and education level. Gradually, violence becomes a daily part of our life and it affects everyone and every sector as a health problem. Health care staff are exposed to violence 16 times more often than in the other employments. Generally, the people who resort to violence are males under 30 years old ,who have a low socioeconomic level, keep weapons legally or illegally, have problems with authority and have legal problems or a history of arrests. The majority of these people have a history of alcohol and abuse. Long waiting periods, extreme requests of patients and their relatives, low education levels, relatives with stress, crowded and noisy environments, long working hours, communication and personal problems, insufficient and tired personnel, wrong and provocative news in the press, insufficient security and police support and lack of sufficient personnel to manage crises are the main causes of violence. Among the health care staff, initially nurses and then emergency departments staff are most exposed to violence. At first, emergency departments, then internal services, anesthesiology clinics, intensive care units, waiting rooms, parking places, corridors and cafeterias are risk locations for violence. The most common cause of fewer reports of violence in health institutions is that the victims perceive serious issues such as injury as violence,which is perceived as part of their job . After assaults, the victims have emotional, physiological, and psychiatric problems, and their work performance and social relationships are damaged. The verdicts related to verbal assaults, injuries, blows and murder are dependent on the general Turkish Criminal Law.

Keywords: Health care staff, violence, legal arrangements, press