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Case/Article Review 1
A study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, found that around half of American Dentists had experienced verbal violence, and a half physical threats or violence.
"Workplace violence toward health care professionals is both widespread and widely overlooked," said Kimberly Rhoades, a research scientist in the Family Translational Research Group at NYU College of Dentistry.
Rhoades and her colleagues surveyed 98 dentists practicing in the New York City metropolitan area; the dentists had been working an average of 17 years. Participants completed a confidential online survey assessing whether they had experienced any of 21 specific types of aggressive behaviors from their patients, including types of physical (e.g. being pushed or kicked), verbal (e.g. being insulted or sworn at), and reputational (e.g. threats of lawsuits or posting nasty comments on social media) aggression.
A substantial proportion of dentists reported experiencing aggression from patients in the past year, including physical (22.2%), verbal (55%), and reputational (44.4%) aggression. An even larger proportion of dentists surveyed were subjected to physical (45.5%), verbal (74%), and reputational (68.7%) aggression at some point during their career. These rates of patient aggression toward dentists are high and comparable with those reported in other health care settings.
The researchers note that, while a larger, national study is needed to determine the true prevalence of aggression in U.S. dental settings, dental practices should consider implementing training that incorporates strategies for handling workplace violence. Training could address how to prevent patient aggression, and manage or de-escalate aggression when it does occur.
Outline the main issues raised.
(Reference Adapted from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201026153942.html)
Example Candidate Response
The study shows that violence toward healthcare workers is shockingly common, and largely overlooked by the wider public.
This is concerning for those working in healthcare, but also for those that they treat. Aggression towards healthcare workers could easily result in an unmotivated, or absent, work force.
The study focuses on dentists that have been working for an extended period of time, and it seems that healthcare workers may become numb to this sort of aggressive treatment from the public.
In light of the findings, we are informed that dentists should look at implementing training and strategies to deal with workplace violence. This would allow dentists to work without fear, and in turn reduce any element of churn in employment of dentists due to aggression from patients.
However, we must consider if this use of time and funds should be expected to be part of a dentist’s job or their training, and if this will be of benefit to the vast majority of ‘well behaved’ patients.