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(Re)Thinking violence in Health Care settings. A critical approach

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Title: (Re)Thinking violence in Health Care settings.  A critical approach

Edited by: Dave Holmes,Trudy Rudge and Mélie Perron

Publisher: Ashgate 2012

Reviewer: Hannah Marriage, staff nurse, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

 What was it like?

As the title suggests, this book concentrates on re-thinking violence within the workplace, and is divided into three sections.  First up is  the less identifiable form of violence: institutional and managerial violence. Here the editors have put together a selection of research, which highlights how institutional ideas, such as budget cuts, could be considered as violence on the staff who work under the organisation. Secondly they look at a  slightly more but still not overly discussed form of violence, horizontal violence. In this section  the editors focus on research regarding violence on staff by staff.  This includes issues around professional boundaries such as nursing hierarchy and the nurse-doctor relationship, as well as sexism and racism to name a few. Then the authors cover the most common and spoke about form of violence, that from patients to staff. The editors corroborate research on various forms of violence by patients, including verbal and physical in various healthcare settings on staff. This division and the clear chapter titles, allows the reader to find research, which clearly suits their desired needs.


What were the highlights?

This book has done exactly what the title suggests, encouraging the reader to re-think violence within the workplace, especially within the first and some of the second part of this book. The editors have identified through their research selection, specific issues that most people would not consider as “violence” per se, allowing the reader to challenge their own initial view on the topic.

Strengths & Weaknesses:

Each chapter within the sections are individual pieces of research and read well as such. However, as a book, I did not feel it read well going one chapter to the next. The book also covers national ideas on violence as well as all healthcare settings, though the focus tends to be more on mental health, specifically forensic services, and most of the research has come from America or Australia, so does not fully relate to UK workforces and work systems.

Who should read it?

Anyone who works within healthcare who would like to challenge themselves over violence within the workforce.

  • Comments (1)

Readers' comments (1)

  • tinkerbell

    we were taught as mental health students back in the day that 'aggression' was the threat of violence' i'e., 'i'm going to punch you' someone forming a fist' etc., whilst violence was 'the tearing of the flesh' ie., when someone has punched you, hit you, made physical contact etc.,

    It seems a lot of people do not understand the difference between the 2 words as we were taught it many years ago and subsititute one for the other.

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