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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 248-255

Workplace violence in the emergency department in India and the United States

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2 Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nicolas Grundmann
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 1228, Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2455-5568.222476

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Background: Internationally, emergency medicine (EM) physicians are vulnerable to both physical and verbal violence. Few studies have examined or compared perceptions and the impacts of workplace violence in India and the United States (US). Objectives: To assess the perceived incidence of workplace violence and its implications on sleep, missed days of work, fear in the workplace, and overall job satisfaction. Materials and Methods: This was an anonymous, prospective, cross-sectional electronic survey of EM residents and physicians. A cohort of physicians in the US was matched to a cohort of physicians in India. Results: Overall, 286 physicians were eligible to participate, 177 responded (98 people from the US and 79 from Indian, for a 62% total response rate). In the US 100% of respondents witnessed verbal violence, whereas only 23% of verbal abuse cases were reported. In India, 89% of respondents witnessed verbal abuse, 46% of cases were reported. Respondents in the US both witnessed and experienced significantly more verbal and physical abuse (P < 0.001). Despite the differences in perceived rates of violence, there were no significant differences between country cohorts regarding the consequences of these incidents. This includes self-reported sleep, missed days of work, and fear of going to the workplace. US respondents were less satisfied with their jobs due to workplace violence as compared to their Indian colleagues (P = 0.041). Conclusion: ED workplace violence is common internationally, underreported, and results in poor job satisfaction, workplace fear, and loss of sleep. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Patient care, Professionalism, Systems-based practice.

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