Midwifery student reactions to workplace violence

Jesse Shapiro, Malcolm J. Boyle, Lisa McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Problem: Workplace violence, incidents against people in their workplaces, is a growing problem in Australia causing untold personal suffering as well as costing Australian businesses in productivity.Midwives have been highlighted as a group particularly at risk, yet in Australia there is little research into workplace violence against midwives and even less into midwifery students. Aim: This study aimed to explore Australian midwifery students' responses to workplace violence as well as to gauge the impact of workplace violence on them. Methods: Cross-sectional survey design was employed. Second and third year students were invited to participate at the end of a scheduled lecture. Fifty-two female midwifery students who had completed their work placement completed a survey indicating their immediate responses to workplace violence as well as the Impact of Event Scale. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Findings: Most students notified a co-worker immediately after a workplace violence incident, yet few completed an incident form or received official debriefing. Discussion: There is a need for the reporting of workplace violence against midwifery students to be made easier to access thereby ensuring they can receive the assistance they require. Midwifery students need to understand the processes and supports in place for managing instances of workplace violence. Conclusion: Clinical placements can impact on midwifery students' future careers. Universities need to prepare students for the possibility of workplace violence and arm them with appropriate strategies for safely dealing with it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e67-e71
Number of pages5
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Bullying
  • Midwifery
  • Students
  • Undergraduate
  • Workplace violence

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