Objectives: The objective of this pilot study was to identify the type of workplace violence experienced by undergraduate paramedic and midwifery students.
Methods: The study used a cross-sectional methodology with the self-administered paper-based Paramedic Workplace Violence Exposure Questionnaire to elicit undergraduate paramedic and midwife responses to workplace violence whilst on clinical placements. There were 393 students eligible for inclusion in the study. A convenience sample was used. The anonymous questionnaire took 10 to 20 minutes to complete. Descriptive statistics are used to summarise the data with a two-tailed t-test used to compare groups.
Results: The main form of workplace violence was verbal abuse 18% and intimidation 17%. There was a statistically significant difference between midwifery and paramedic students for intimidation (t(134)=-3.143, CI: -0.367 to -0.082, p=0.002) and between females and males for sexual harassment (t(134)=2.029, CI: 0.001 to 0.074, p=0.045), all other results were not statistically different.
Conclusions: This pilot study is the first of its kind in Australia and internationally to identify exposure rates of workplace violence by undergraduate paramedic students during clinical placements and one of very few to identify midwifery students' exposure rates of workplace violence. The study identified that students were exposed to a range of workplace violence acts from verbal abuse through to sexual harassment. These findings highlight a need for investigation of workplace violence exposure of medical, nursing and allied health students during the clinical phase of their studies.
- workplace violence