Sense of safety among medical staff working in a psychiatric ward
More details
Hide details
Independent Public Provincial Specialist Hospital in Chełm, Poland
University of Economics and Innovation, Lublin, Poland
Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Paulina Maria Kaczor-Szkodny   

Institute of Rural Health, JACZEWSKIEGO 2, 20-090 Lublin
Introduction and objective.:
Acts of aggression and physical violence directed against medical staff decrease the sense of work safety, resulting in the depersonalisation and gradual departure of medical staff from the profession. The aim of the study was to investigate the sense of safety among medical staff employed in the psychiatric ward of a Polish provincial hospital.

Material and methods:
The pilot study included 88 persons who represented various medical professions employed in a psychiatric ward of the Independent Public Provincial Specialist Hospital in Chełm, The discussed phenomenon was evaluated by a survey method, by means of an author-constructed questionnaire as a research instrument. Statistical analysis was conducted using statistical software SPSS.

The majority of medical personnel working in the psychiatric ward in the Independent Public Province Specialist Hospital in Chełm reported that the work in the ward is associated with a low sense of safety. Only the respondents who had the lowest period of employment (less than 5 years) evaluated work in the psychiatric ward as safe. Those with the longest period of employment in the psychiatric ward felt less secure; simultaneously, the respondents’ admitted that being on duty together with persons who had the longest period of employment was the safest. No statistically significant differences in the lack of the sense of safety at work in a psychiatric ward were observed according to gender.

Statistically significant differences were noted between respondents’ opinions concerning their alleviating effect on releasing aggressive behaviours. Such an opinion was expressed mainly by paramedics.

Borzucka-Sitkiewicz K. Środowiskowe uwarunkowania agresywnych zachowań młodzieży (Environmental determinants of aggressive behavior of young people). Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, Katowice; 2010: 13.
Bjørkly S. Psychological theories of aggression: principles and application to practice. [in] Richter D, Whittington R. Violence in Mental Health Settings: Causes, Consequences, Management. Springer 2016: 27–46.
Benjamin AJ. Aggression. [in] Friedman H. Encyclopedia of Mental Health, Volume 1, Edition: 2, Chapter: Aggression, Publisher: Academic Press, 2015: 33–39.
Kowalczuk K, Jankowiak B, Krajewska-Kułak E, Rolka H, Sierakowska M. Teoria agresji – prawda czy mity? (Theories of aggression – reality or myths?). Problemy Pielęgniarstwa 2011; 19(3): 396–400.
Kacpeska MJ. Samookaleczanie się a autoagresja i depresja (Self-harm versus auto aggression and depression). artykul/samookaleczanie-sie-a-autoagresja-i-depresja/18520 (access: 15.04.2018).
Mosiołek A, Koweszko T, Gierus J. Agresja w placówkach psychiatrycznych – próba zdefiniowania problemu (Aggression in psychiatric institutions — an attempt to define the problem). Psychiatria. 2014; 11(2): 87–91.
Iozzino L, Ferrari C, Large M, Nielssen O, de Girolamo G. Prevalence and risk factors of violence by psychiatric acute inpatients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One 2015; 10: e0128536.
Kliś A. Profilaktyka agresji i przemocy u pacjentów w ośrodkach dializ (Prophylaxis of patients’ aggression and violence in dialysis centres). Forum Nefrologiczne. 2011; 4(2): 177–182.
Abderhalden C, Needham I, Dassen T, Halfens R, Haug H-J, Fischer JE. Structured risk assessment and violence in acute psychiatric wards: randomised controlled trial. Br J Psychiatry 2008; 193: 44–50.
Rymaszewska J. Postępowanie z pacjentem agresywnym i pobudzonym (The proceeding if of an aggressive and agitated patient). Psychiatria w praktyce klinicznej. 2008; 1(2): 74–81.
Rejek E, Szmigiel M. Stres personelu związany ze specyfiką pracy na oddziale psychiatrycznym (Stress of medical personel related to specyfic work inthe psychiatric ward). Problemy Pielęgniarstwa 2016; 23(4): 515–519. doi:10.5603/PP.2015.0084.
Tsirigotis K, Gruszczyński W, Tokarska I. Zaburzenia nerwicowe u pielęgniarek oddziałów psychiatrycznych (Neurotic disorders of nurses in psychiatric hospital wards). Problemy Pielęgniarstwa 2011; 18(4): 461–468.
Usher K, Grigg M. Problem zasobów ludzkich (The problem of human resources). [in]: Wilczek-Różycka E, Kilańska D, Hajduk A. Pielęgniarstwo psychiatryczne. Problemy i kierunki rozwoju (Mental Health Nursing. Trends and issues). Szczecin: Wydawnictwo Copyright; 2010: 36–39.
Haines A, Brown A, McCabe R, Rogerson M, Whittington R. Factors impacting perceived safety among staff working on mental health wards. B J Psych Open. 2017; 3(5): 204–211.
Rymaszewska J, Adamowski T, Pawłowski T, Klejna A. Rozpowszechnienie zaburzeń psychicznych – przegląd ważniejszych badań epidemiologicznych (Prevalence of mental disorders – a review of major epidemiological studies). Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii. 2005; 14(3): 195–200.
Bowers L, Stewart D, Papadopoulos C, Dack C, Ross J, Khanom H, et al. Inpatient Violence and Aggression: A Literature Review. Section of Mental Health Nursing, Health Service and Population Research, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, 2011.
Gubernat B. Agresywny pacjent monitorowany (Monitoring aggressive patient). (access: 25.01.2019).
Laiho T, Lindberg N, Joffe G, Putkonen H, Hottinen A, Kontio R, et al. Psychiatric staff on the wards does not share attitudes on aggression. Int J Ment Health Syst. 2014; 8: 1–7.
Markiewicz R. Zachowania agresywne pacjentów wobec personelu pielęgniarskiego zatrudnionego w oddziałach psychiatrycznych (Aggressive behavior of patients towards nurse personnel employed in psychiatric wards). Curr Problem Psychiatry. 2012; 13(2): 93–97.
Nijman H, Bowers L, Oud N, Jansen G. Psychiatric nurses’ experiences with inpatient aggression. Aggress Behav. 2005a;31: 217–27.
Berent D, i in. Agresja pacjentów wobec personelu medycznego Izby Przyjęć Szpitala Psychiatrycznego (Patients’ aggression towards medical staff on admission to psychiatric hospital). Psychiatria i Psychoterapia. 2009; 5, 1–2 (2): 13–28.
Erickson L, Williams-Evans SA. Attitudes of emergency nurses regarding patient assaults. J Emerg Nurs. 2000; 26: 210–5.
Cowman S, Björkdahl A, Clarke E, Gethin G, Maguire J, European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group (EViPRG). A descriptive survey study of violence management and priorities among psychiatric staff in mental health services, across seventeen european countries. 2017; BMC Health Services Research BMC series – open.
Itzhaki M, Peles-Bortz A, Kostistky H, Barnoy D, Filshtinsky V, Bluvstein I. Exposure of mental health nurses to violence associated with job stress, life satisfaction, staff resilience, and post‐traumatic growth. Int J Mental Health Nurs. 2015; 24: 403–412.
Itzhaki M, Bluvstein I, Peles-Bortz A, Kostistky H, Bar Noy D, Filshtinsky V, Theilla M. Mental Health Nurse’s Exposure to Workplace Violence Leads to Job Stress, Which Leads to Reduced Professional Quality of Life, Front. Psychiatry. 2018; 9: 59.
Wiechula R, Conroy T, Kitson AL, Marshall RJ, Whitaker N, Rasmussen P. Umbrella review of the evidence: what factors influence the caring relationship between a nurse and patient? J Adv Nurs. 2016; 72(4): 723–734.
Stewart D, Burrow H, Duckworth A, Dhillon J, Fife S, Kelly S, MarshPicksley S, Massey E, O’Sullivan J, Qureshi M, Wright S, Bowers L. Thematic analysis of psychiatric patients’ perceptions of nursing staff. Int J Mental Health Nurs. 2015; 24: 82–90.
Schneeberger AR, et al. Aggression and violence in psychiatric hospitals with and withoutopen door policies: A 15-year naturalistic observational study. J Psychiatric Res. 2017; 95: 189–195.