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Violence against emergency healthcare workers: different perpetrators, different approaches

Violence against emergency healthcare workers: different perpetrators, different approaches This study aims to investigate whether emergency health-care workers distinguish between different categories of perpetrators of violence and how they respond to different types of perpetrator profiles.Design/methodology/approachFive focus groups with emergency health-care workers were held in Canada. The participants were asked whether they identified different groups of perpetrators of violence and how that impacted their approach. The focus group responses were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically using a phenomenological approach.FindingsParticipants consistently identified five groups of perpetrators and tailored their approach on their assessment of the type of perpetrator involved. The five categories are: violence or aggressive behaviour from family members or bystander and violence related to; underlying mental health/illness issues; underlying physical health issues; addiction and substance use; and repeat visitors/offenders. Violence with an underlying (mental) health cause was handled professionally and compassionately by the health-care workers, while less patience and understanding was afforded in those instances where violence was associated with (recreational) alcohol or illicit substance use.Originality/valueEmergency health-care workers can consistently distinguish between types of perpetrators of violence and aggression, which they then use as one factor in the clinical and situational assessments that inform their overall approach to the management incidents. This conclusion supports the need to move the focus away from the worker to the perpetrator and to an organisational rather than individual approach to help minimise violence against emergency health-care workers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research Emerald Publishing

Violence against emergency healthcare workers: different perpetrators, different approaches

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1759-6599
eISSN
1759-6599
DOI
10.1108/jacpr-10-2021-0645
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to investigate whether emergency health-care workers distinguish between different categories of perpetrators of violence and how they respond to different types of perpetrator profiles.Design/methodology/approachFive focus groups with emergency health-care workers were held in Canada. The participants were asked whether they identified different groups of perpetrators of violence and how that impacted their approach. The focus group responses were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically using a phenomenological approach.FindingsParticipants consistently identified five groups of perpetrators and tailored their approach on their assessment of the type of perpetrator involved. The five categories are: violence or aggressive behaviour from family members or bystander and violence related to; underlying mental health/illness issues; underlying physical health issues; addiction and substance use; and repeat visitors/offenders. Violence with an underlying (mental) health cause was handled professionally and compassionately by the health-care workers, while less patience and understanding was afforded in those instances where violence was associated with (recreational) alcohol or illicit substance use.Originality/valueEmergency health-care workers can consistently distinguish between types of perpetrators of violence and aggression, which they then use as one factor in the clinical and situational assessments that inform their overall approach to the management incidents. This conclusion supports the need to move the focus away from the worker to the perpetrator and to an organisational rather than individual approach to help minimise violence against emergency health-care workers.

Journal

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 5, 2022

Keywords: Violence; Aggression; Emergency medical services; Workplace violence; Paramedicine; Provider safety

References