The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recently conducted a survey1 about workplace violence, compiling responses from more than 3,500 members. Some of the highlights of the survey findings are summarized as follows.
ACEP: Have you ever been physically assaulted or witnessed another assault while at work in the emergency department?
- Physically assaulted: 47%
- Witnessed another assault: 71%
- Neither: 10%
Note: These findings were essentially the same regardless of gender, with 48% of males and 44% of females saying that they had been assaulted.
ACEP: How many times have you been physically assaulted in the emergency department in the past year?
- None: 39%
- Once: 34%
- Two to 5 times: 24%
- Six to 10 times: 2%
- More than 10 times: 1%
- Prefer not to answer: 1%
ACEP: What was the nature of your most recent assault?
- Hit, slap: 44%
- Spit on: 30%
- Punch: 28%
- Kick: 27%
- Scratch: 17%
- Bite: 6%
- Assault with a weapon (knife, other): 2%
- Sexual assault: 1%
- Assault with a gun: 0%
- Other: 13%
ACEP: What do you think are the biggest contributing factors to violence in the emergency department?
- No adequate punitive consequence or response towards the attacker: 34%
- Behavioral health patients: 32%
- Absence of adequate protective mechanisms for physicians/staff: 15%
- Emergency department crowding: 8%
- People seeking prescription opioids: 5%
- Emergency department boarding: 2%
- Other: 4%
- Marketing General Inc. ACEP Emergency Department Violence Poll Research Results. September 2018:1-25.