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Healthcare workers experiencing increasing violence by patients on the job

The hallway of a hospital
The hallway of a hospital
David Sacks/Getty Images

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Results of a poll in 2018 found that nearly half of emergency physicians report having been physically assaulted while at work.

The poll conducted by American College of Emergency Physicians found violence in emergency departments is increasing.

A total of 3, 539 responses from current ACEP members were completed. Almost all physical assaults against emergency physicians were made by patients, with a hit or a slap being the most common form of assault. More than 60 person of those respondents reported being assaulted within the previous year.

These incidents are not unique to emergency rooms.. A registered nurse in neuroscience intensive care was kicked and punched by a patient bleeding inside her brain. Many more assaults or threats go unreported.

Do you have a story to share as a healthcare worker experiencing violence by patients? Have you seen a patient assault a healthcare worker in the emergency department? What do you think are some solutions?

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Leigh Vinocur, emergency physician in the Baltimore area and expert on violence in the ER; she tweets @Doctor_Leigh

Anna Dermenchyan, Senior Clinical Quality Specialist in UCLA's Health Department of Medicine and PhD student at the UCLA School of Nursing, who has written and spoken on numerous occasions on workplace violence involving nurses; she tweets @ADermenchyan