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ED Violence Racks Up Huge Costs

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, February 11, 2014

They don't assume that violence doesn't happen at their hospital because it's small or in a nice neighborhood. They use resources, like ones from the ENA, to combat and refuse to tolerate violence. They also teach their nurses to recognize signs of potential trouble; Brecher says high-risk people tend to be "intoxicated, frustrated, and may have waited a long time to be seen."

If nothing else, the fact that nurses consider leaving—and in some cases do leave—a job because of violence should be impetus enough for hospital leadership to take the problem seriously. Brecher says it costs about $65,000 to replace a nurse.

"From the nurse leader's perspective, this is a huge loss," she says. "It's an incredible amount of money going out the door."


Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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1 comments on "ED Violence Racks Up Huge Costs"


Marilyn Kirchner (2/18/2014 at 10:43 AM)
Reading your article regarding violence in the ER struck home. I was assaulted by a patient, knocked unconscious and the same culture of "part of the job" prevailed. My interaction with this patient was only seconds, he looked passive and there had been no mention of potential violence. I over heard the administrator asking "what I did to rile him", I felt assaulted all over again. I am retired now, miss nursing greatly, but our society has fostered this violent culture many patients are literally given a "free pass" since they hide behind their persona of a patient. There is no impulse control due to much lack of parenting, but the nurse should not be the punching bag. I applaud and strongly urge any legislation which would protect ALL medical personnel, and I agree it MUST start at the top with demonstrated "zero tolerance" not just lip-service.