Background Occupational violence is well documented
among general practice receptionists,
who are singularly vulnerable because
they are placed in the general practice
‘frontline’. One response to this threat has
been to physically isolate reception staff
from waiting room patients by having a
perspex shield at the reception desk and
a locked door between waiting room and
Discussion These safety measures, while viewed
positively by receptionists, may have
adverse effects on patient-staff
relationships and exacerbate violence
and increase staff fearfulness.
Results Receptionists were universally positive
about the safety measures for reducing
risk. But there was also a view that these
safety measures potentially compromise
the feeling of a practice being patient
centred by alienating patients from staff
and, paradoxically, increasing levels of
patient violence and staff fearfulness.
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