Violence Against Nurses Working in US Emergency Departments

Source: Jessica Gacki-Smith, Altair M. Juarez, Lara Boyett, Cathy Homeyer, Linda Robinson, Susan L. MacLean, JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, Volume 39 – Issue 7/8, July/August 2009
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From the abstract:
The objective of this study was to investigate emergency nurses’ experiences and perceptions of violence from patients and visitors in US emergency departments (EDs).

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.

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.

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