Physicians
e-Newsletter
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Half of ED Nurses Report Assaults at Work

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 28, 2009

Conversely, violence is higher in facilities that have barriers to reporting violence, where nurses complain of: a perception that reporting violent incidents might have a negative effect on customer service reports; ambiguous policies for reporting incidents; fear of retaliation by superiors; perceptions that reporting incidents is a sign of incompetence; the attitude that violence is to be expected; and a lack of support from administration.

The ENA has several recommendations to reduce ED violence that include:

  • Ensuring that ED staff know that senior administration is aware of the issues and support efforts to prevent violence.

  • Establishing a culture of acceptance for reporting violence.

  • Developing clear procedures for reporting violence.

  • Providing access to medical care and follow-up counseling for ED staff who are assaulted.

  • Appointing an interdisciplinary task force to identify ED vulnerabilities and develop a plan for preventing, mitigating, responding to, and reporting violence.

  • The report's authors also recommend federal and state laws to protect ED nurses from violence. Laws protecting emergency nurses vary widely by state, and several states have no such laws.

The 69-question survey was published today in the July/August issue of the Journal of Nursing Administration, and was based on the results of an online survey that was conducted in April and May 2007. Nearly 84% of the respondents were women.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.