April 15, 2024

Survey: More than half of ED nurses experienced violence in past month

Editor's Note:

Head-butting, kicking, slapping, and verbal assault are among the forms of abuse reported in a recent “pulse check” of Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) members in which more than half of respondents reported being abused within the preceding 30 days.

Published April 4—the beginning of Workplace Violence Prevention Awareness Month—the data is based on nearly 500 members who responded to the survey, with one in 10 reporting that violence could prompt them to leave the profession. 

ED nurse suggestions on how to prevent or respond to violence include cited de-escalation training, response teams, publicly stated policies and use of technology, such as flagging in electronic medical records. However, many also expect little to change because violence is often seen as “part of the job”

Respondents also pointed to systemic issues, such as staffing and patients with mental health issues who stay in the ED for weeks while awaiting appropriate placement.

“The violence and incivility against emergency nurses and their emergency care team partners—who are in the ED around-the-clock, every day, ready to care for anyone who enters—is unacceptable,” said ENA President Chris Dellinger MBA, BSN, RN, FAEN.

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