Violence towards nursing staff in emergency departments in one Turkish city.

International nursing review

PubMedID: 15842328

Senuzun Ergün F, Karadakovan A. Violence towards nursing staff in emergency departments in one Turkish city. Int Nurs Rev. 2005;52(2):154-60.
To determine the incidence of violence faced by nurses in emergency departments (ED) in a Turkish city, whether any of the incidents were reported and what legal action was taken. The second aim was to identify nurses' attitudes towards these incidents and the relevance of their professional background.

Data were collected by questionnaire from the nurses working in the ED of four major hospitals in Izmir, Turkey. The questionnaire consisted of 34 questions seeking socio-demographic data, information on verbal and physical victimization and legal processes.

Sixty-six nurses (72%) agreed to participate in the study. One third (34.8%) of participants were relatively new in the profession (0-5 years), and the majority of nurses (71.2%) had an ED experience of less than 5 years. The incidence of verbal violence (98.5%) was significantly more frequent than physical violence (19.7%). However, most incidents remained unreported (83.5%); most of the reported cases did not result in legal action (63.7%). Almost half of the nurses believed that possible explanations for the violent incidents they faced were because they were less competent and inexperienced in the profession than more senior colleagues.

Victimized respondents mostly preferred to remain silent and did not report the incidents to the hospital administration since they believed that this would not result in legal action. It seems evident that our country lacks legal processes concerning job (workplace) violence. Effective legislative arrangements are necessary. Nurses and other ED staff also need continuing education concerning their rights and personal safety.