Factors Associated with Workplace Violence in Paramedics

Centre for Development Disability Health Victoria, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Prehospital and disaster medicine: the official journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine in association with the Acute Care Foundation 10/2009; 24(5):417-21. DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X0000724X
Source: PubMed


The majority of research that has explored workplace violence has focused on establishing the prevalence of violence in different settings. In general, there is a paucity of research that explores factors that may predict or increase the risk of experiencing violence in the workplace.
The aim of this research was to determine predictors of violence for paramedics.
A questionnaire was developed that focused on paramedics' experiences with six forms of violence: verbal abuse, property damage/theft, intimidation, physical abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. The questionnaire was distributed randomly to paramedics throughout rural Victoria and metropolitan South Australia, and completed and returned anonymously.
Predictors emerged for verbal abuse, intimidation, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse. Specifically, gender was the only predictor of intimidation, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Paramedic qualifications, how they responded to a call-out, and hours per week in direct patient contact emerged as a predictor of verbal abuse.
Certain factors predict or predispose paramedics to workplace violence. The need for workplace violence education and training is imperative for the prevention of violence, as well as for its management.

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