Accreditation

ER doctor: Protect your staff from workplace violence

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, May 1, 2019

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Amy Costigan, MD, wants to be able to practice emergency medicine without being punched in the face.
Healthcare staff carry a heavy workplace violence burden, with about 74% of workplace assaults occurring in the healthcare setting. Workplace violence is prevalent in the emergency department—78% of emergency physicians have reported being targets of workplace violence in the prior 12 months.

Costigan wrote about her workplace violence experience in Annals of Emergency Medicine. She had lost a young woman in cardiac arrest, then went to a family room to inform the woman’s mother. When she entered the room, the ER physician had a choice—sit in a chair near the door or sit on the couch next to the young woman’s mother. Costigan picked the couch.

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