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More Than Half of Emergency Department Nurses Have Been Physically Assaulted at Work, New Study Finds
Date:7/28/2009

ecause of the violence. Reports of violence were lowest among nurses in pediatric emergency departments and highest among nurses who worked night shifts and on weekends. Male emergency nurses were more likely than their female colleagues to indicate having experienced workplace violence.

The risk of experiencing workplace violence was lower for nurses who worked in facilities that had policies for reporting violence, facility responses to incidents, and hospital and emergency department administrations who were committed to eliminating workplace violence against emergency nurses.

The risk for experiencing violence was higher in facilities that had barriers to reporting violent incidents. Among those barriers are: the perception that reporting violent incidents might have a negative effect on customer service reports or scores; ambiguous policies for reporting incidents; fear of retaliation by emergency department management, hospital administration, nursing staff or physicians; the perception that reporting incidents was a sign of incompetence or weakness; lack of physical injury as a result of an incident; the attitude that violence is to be expected; and lack of support from administration and management.

The report includes several recommendations to reduce emergency department violence and address the barriers to reporting that violence when it does occur. They include:

  • Ensuring that emergency department staff know that senior administration is aware of the issues and support efforts to prevent and mitigate violence.
  • Encouraging nurse executives to take steps to make the department safe.
  • Establishing a culture of acceptance for reporting violence incidents.
  • Developing clear and consistent procedures for reporting violent incidents.
  • Providing access to medical care and follow up counseling as needed for emergency depar
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SOURCE Emergency Nurses Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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