Workplace Violence Against Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study

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Öztürk C. C., Al-Ezzı A. A. S., Özyıldırım B.

BEZMIALEM SCIENCE, vol.10, no.1, pp.21, 2022 (ESCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Letter
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.21
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: This study explores the evidence of workplace violence among healthcare workers (HCWs) when they served at the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) care facilities. Method: A qualitative study was conducted between May and September 2021 at the Bezmialem Vakıf University Hospital. The data came from in-depth online-recorded interviews, which was time ranged from 30 to 60 min. All the first-line HCWs, both genders, willing to participate, had engaged and experienced some form of workplace violence in the last six months when dealing with COVID-19 patients were invited to participate in the study. Results: Four medical doctors, one nurse and two axillary HCWs were interviewed. Primarily (the main source of violence): participants (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) in the content analysis claimed that violence against HCWs could have sprung from the relatives of the patient. Insufficient information about the emergency procedure and the workplace definition; problems such as bias against healthcare staff; poor levels of education; and an inclination toward aggression were found as patient-related factors. Secondly: Five (1, 2, 4, 5, 7) of the participants stated that the “white code” ends up in the police station, where the perpetrator excuses in front of the officer or receives a fine. Four (1, 2, 6, 7) of the interviewed HCWs declared that the security personal is a help to intimidate the patients. All participants agreed that people have lost respect for HCWs, therefore most of them (2, 3, 6, 7) thought that the family physician system can be the solution. Right now there is a fee for the examination in the emergency and a triage. Conclusion: Working in the field of health care is fraught with risks, especially in times of crisis. Therefore, attention to the safety of this segment is a priority.

Key words: Workplace, violence, healthcare workers