Article Text

PDF
Violence in the emergency department: a multicentre survey of nurses’ perceptions in Nigeria
  1. Kolawole Olubunmi Ogundipe1,2,
  2. Amarachukwu Chiduziem Etonyeaku3,4,
  3. Ismaila Adigun5,
  4. Emmanuel O Ojo6,7,8,
  5. Tunde Aladesanmi9,
  6. Jones O Taiwo10,
  7. Obitade Sunday Obimakinde11
  1. 1Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria
  2. 2Department of Accident and Emergency, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria
  3. 3Department of Surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria
  4. 4Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria
  5. 5Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara, Nigeria
  6. 6Department of Surgery, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau, Nigeria
  7. 7Department of Surgery, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria
  8. 8Department of Surgery, State Specialist Hospital, Yola, Adamawa, Nigeria
  9. 9Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria
  10. 10Department of Surgery, Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi, Nigeria
  11. 11Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amarachukwu Chiduziem Etonyeaku, Department of Surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State +234, Nigeria; dretonyeaku{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Background Emergency department (ED) violence is common and widespread. ED staff receive both verbal and physical abuse, with ED nurses bearing the brunt of this violence. The violence is becoming increasingly common and lethal and many institutions are still improperly prepared to deal with it.

Methods A questionnaire based survey of the perception of violence among nurses working in six tertiary hospitals’ EDs across five states in Nigeria was conducted.

Results 81 nurses were interviewed with a male to female ratio of 1:4. Most were right about the definition of violence. About 88.6% of respondents have witnessed ED violence while 65.0% had been direct victims before. Nurses followed by doctors were the usual victims. The acts were carried out mostly by visitors to the ED. Men were usually responsible for the violence, which usually occurred in the evenings. Weapons were not commonly utilised: only 15.8% of the nurses had been threatened with a weapon over a 1-year period. The main perceived reasons for violence were overcrowded emergency rooms, long waiting time and inadequate system of security. All the institutions were lacking in basic strategies for prevention. While most of the nurses were not satisfied with the EDs that were considered not safe, few would wish for redeployment to other departments/units.

Conclusions There is a need to make the EDs safer for all users. This can be achieved by a deliberate management policy of ‘zero’ tolerance to workplace violence, effective reporting systems, adequate security and staff training on prevention of violence.

  • violence
  • nursing, emergency departments

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.