Workplace violence is a phenomenon that affects every country and every work setting. The conditions of the environment where care is being provided make health care professionals especially vulnerable to assaults. The factors that account for the increased incidence of violence in health care settings include increased stress levels in patients and relatives, long waiting hours, availability of money and drugs on a 24hour basis, unrestricted visitor access, overcrowding. Workplace violence can have a negative impact for both the employee and the hospital. The negative consequences of violence include loss of professional self esteem, loss of job satisfaction, trauma, disability, increased litigation costs, staff absenteeism. Violence prevention focuses on 3 aspects: hospital organization, control of the physical environment, and staff education and development. Some of the measures that can contribute to the prevention of violence include: avoiding overcrowding, enforcing visiting hours, adequate staffing of the Accident and Emergency unit, staff training in handling violent persons.
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