September 28, 2022

Increasing violence contributes to ED physician burnout, impacts patient care

Editor's Note

In a recent American College of Emergency Physicians survey, some 85% of emergency physicians say they believe violence in US emergency departments (EDs) has risen over the past 5 years, and 45% say it has “greatly increased,” the September 22 reports

Two-thirds of the 3,000 physicians surveyed say they have been assaulted at work in the past year, and more than one-third say it happened more than once, with patients the most common aggressors.

A total of 89% of physicians agree that violence has adversely impacted patient care in the ED by increasing wait times and causing patients to leave without being seen by a physician.

The poll also finds that ED violence exacerbates burnout and impacts healthcare workers’ mental health, with 87% of physicians reporting a loss of productivity and 85% reporting emotional trauma and an increase in anxiety.

In addition, 66% of ED physicians say COVID-19 has increased the amount of violence, and 69% say it has decreased the level of trust between patients and physicians or ED staff.


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