Midwifery student exposure to workplace violence in clinical settings: an exploratory study Academic Article uri icon


  • Evidence indicates that nurses regularly experience bullying within the workplace which has the potential for health and social effects, as well as worker attrition. Literature suggests that nursing students are exposed to workplace violence during clinical placements including from health professionals and mentors, however little is known about midwifery students. This study sought to examine undergraduate midwifery students' experiences of workplace violence during clinical placements. A cross-sectional approach using a paper-based survey, the Paramedic Workplace Questionnaire, was used to solicit the information. Students were exposed to workplace violence with the main act being intimidation (30%), verbal abuse (17%), physical abuse (3%), and sexual harassment (3%). In more than three-quarters of the incidents the students had some level of apprehension or were frightened as a result of the violence. Students responded to the acts of violence with changes to emotions, self-confidence, and a desire to "give up". This paper demonstrates ways in which midwifery students are vulnerable to potential workplace violence from various sources. Support mechanisms need to be developed to ensure this can be minimised.

publication date

  • 2016