Workplace Violence Against Staff Working in the Emergency Department in West Bank, Palestine
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Workplace violence against staff in emergency departments (EDs) has reached catastrophic proportions, and has become an endemic problem affecting nurses in all settings. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of violence experienced by Palestinian staff in EDs, the types of violence, its sources, and factors affecting violence experiences, and reporting the incidence. This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted between Jan and May 2016 in the emergency department of four hospitals in West Bank, Palestine. Data were collected from 91 staff working in various emergency settings. The instrument was a 42-item questionnaire on types of violence, its sources, feelings, and ways to cope with violent behaviors. Descriptive statistics and chisquare tests were used for data analysis. The results showed 74.7% of participants had been exposed to at least one kind of violence: 26.4% to physical assault, 60.4% to verbal abuse, and 13.2% to both (physical and verbal). Patients’ family (79.4%) was identified as the primary perpetrators of violence. The most common coping method among participants (61.2%) for violence was to report to a manager. Based on results of the study, Workplace violence against nurses is a significant problem in Palestine. The impatience that accompanies waiting times may have a cultural element. Lessening waiting times and providing more information to patients and families could reduce the rate of violence, Policy and decision-makers are urged to use study findings for policy and practice interventions to create safe work environments conducive to nurses’ productivity and retention.