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Stop Emergency Department Violence Against Nurses, Physicians

Analysis  |  By Jennifer Thew RN  
   November 18, 2019

A new campaign aims to heighten awareness of the detrimental effects of emergency department violence.

Almost half of emergency physicians and about 70% of emergency nurses have been physically assaulted at work, according to surveys by the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association.

To address the issue of emergency department violence, the ACEP and ENA have launched "No Silence on ED Violence," a new campaign to help prevent attacks and protect ED professionals and patients. The campaign's goal is to support, empower, and protect ED workers by raising awareness of the serious dangers emergency health providers face every day. The program also aims to spur action among stakeholders and policymakers to ensure a violence-free workplace for emergency nurses and physicians.

"No nurse or physician in the emergency department – or any other health care professional – should feel unsafe. We're there to care for people, not to have to question our own safety. Workplace violence is really important to us in the emergency department because it really impacts the care we deliver," ENA President Patti Kunz Howard, PhD, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, NE-BC, FAEN, FAAN, says in a news release.

Visitors to the campaign's website can find resources and content to support those victimized by workplace violence and explore ways to reduce the frequency of violent incidents. They can also share stories of workplace violence to help raise awareness of the issue.

"If you asked the majority of our nurses and our physicians, they have all been impacted directly by violence – as have I. It goes everywhere from verbal violence, which happens frequently, to physical violence. Ultimately, we hope that in sharing our stories we will gain insight and share resources on how to prevent any future harm to our medical teams and our patients," says ACEP President William Jaquis, MD, FACEP, in a news release.

Through No Silence on ED Violence, ACEP and ENA aim to drastically reduce emergency department violence and allow emergency physicians and nurses to able to focus on providing lifesaving treatment without living in constant fear for their safety. To learn more about the campaign, visit


Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.

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