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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 61(5); 2018 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2018;61(5):292-296.
Published online May 24, 2018.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2018.61.5.292   
Preventing workplace violence against healthcare workers
Hyoung Wook Park
Department of Social Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea. hywopark@gmail.com
Healthcare workers face significant risks of workplace violence, which includes verbal, physical, and sexual assaults and harassment. Most violent acts are committed by patient and their family members, although in some cases, medical staff may perpetrate various types of violence against other medical staff. In the course of training, professors or senior residents sometimes criticize junior residents who make mistakes. However, beyond a certain point, the purpose of protecting the patient from harm is lost and only the violence remains. Various efforts should be made to prevent workplace violence against healthcare workers. First, it is necessary to investigate the actual incidence of workplace violence in healthcare settings. Second, each hospital should have a process in place to expedite the response when a violent act is reported. Third, the Korean Hospital Association should ask individual hospitals to take appropriate measures when victims file complaints with the Korean Hospital Association. Fourth, medical societies and the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences should strive to create a healthy training environment in which residents are respected and educated. Fifth, violence prevention education is needed as part of medical school coursework. Sixth, the Korean Medical Association should organize a consultative body including the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences, the Korean Hospital Association, and the Korean Association of Medical Colleges, to encourage the entire medical community to spread safety culture in health care settings. Through these efforts, a new safety culture should be created by integrating patient safety and worker safety in health care settings.
Key Words: Culture of safety, Workplace violence, Patient safety, Sexual harassment


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