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J Nurs Adm. 2009 Jul-Aug;39(7-8):340-9. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181ae97db.

Violence against nurses working in US emergency departments.

Author information

  • 1Emergency Nurses Association, Des Plaines, Illinois 60016, USA. jgacki-smith@ena.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to investigate emergency nurses' experiences and perceptions of violence from patients and visitors in US emergency departments (EDs).

BACKGROUND:

The ED is a particularly vulnerable setting for workplace violence, and because of a lack of standardized measurement and reporting mechanisms for violence in healthcare settings, data are scarce.

METHODS:

Registered nurse members (n = 3,465) of the Emergency Nurses Association participated in this cross-sectional study by completing a 69-item survey.

RESULTS:

Approximately 25% of respondents reported experiencing physical violence more than 20 times in the past 3 years, and almost 20% reported experiencing verbal abuse more than 200 times during the same period. Respondents who experienced frequent physical violence and/or frequent verbal abuse indicated fear of retaliation and lack of support from hospital administration and ED management as barriers to reporting workplace violence.

CONCLUSION:

Violence against ED nurses is highly prevalent. Precipitating factors to violent incidents identified by respondents is consistent with the research literature; however, there is considerable potential to mitigate these factors. Commitment from hospital administrators, ED managers, and hospital security is necessary to facilitate improvement and ensure a safer workplace for ED nurses.

Republished in

PMID:
19641432
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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