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Patient Violence and the Clinician

Edited by Burr S. Eichelman, M.D., Ph.D., and Anne C. Hartwig, J.D., Ph.D.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-454-1
  • Item #8454

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Patient Violence and the Clinician presents clinically relevant information on violent patients and how clinicians can deal with threats of potential violence in their everyday practice. This book describes the clinical information known about the characteristics of assaultive patients. It also reviews special issues of clinician safety related to women, psychiatric residents, and psychiatric nurses.

Patient Violence and the Clinician provides concrete strategies for enhancing clinician safety through architecture, alarm systems, and behavioral strategies. It addresses staff issues and the humane treatment of the violent patient. This book helps the clinician think about the cultural issues that surround the treatment of the violent patient—before violence erupts.


  • A commentary on ethical perspectives for clinician safety application: the risk of being attacked by patients: who, how often, and where? Women clinicians and patient assaults. Violence and psychiatric residency. Verbal threats against clinicians. Assaults with weapons. Managing countertransference reactions to aggressive patients. Nursing staff as victims of patient assault. A critical incident report for capturing violent acts: the North Carolina experience. Strategies for clinician safety. Prosecution as a response to violence by psychiatric patients. Index.

All psychiatrists and emergency department physicians are strongly encouraged to read this concise, timely book. . . . Hartwig's initial chapter on ethical perspectives provides an excellent, concise summary of the use of ethics in reaching clinical decisions and a clear distinction of the boundary between legal and ethical mandates. . . . Anyone involved in the treatment of psychiatric patients and the education of psychiatric residents should read this book.—JAMA

The book is well written and well edited and is an essential guide containing what the generalist needs to know. The authors, many from the APA task force on clinician safety, are among the country's leading experts on this subject. Every trainee in the mental health fields should read this book; wise practitioners should know what is in it.—Psychiatric Services

This excellent book examines the risks, the events, and even our innermost concerns about a topic too often shrouded in both misplace shame and inappropriate notoriety. Eichelman, Hartwig, and the chapter authors have performed a real service to our profession.—William H. Reid, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Director, Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation

This is a comprehensive book on a timely problem. The authors represent a special group of experts who lead us through the dimensions of an issue that every psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, and psychiatric nurse must face at some point in their professional lives.—Paul Jay Fink, M.D., Past President of the American Psychiatric Association

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