Nursing

News spotlight: Survey finds more than half of ED nurses assaulted at work

Nurse Leader Insider, August 3, 2009

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More than half of emergency department (ED) nurses who participated in a national online survey by the Emergency Nurses Association reported being "spit on," "hit," "pushed or shoved," "scratched," and "kicked" on the job.

Of the 3,465 nurses surveyed in April and May 2007, one in four also said they have been assaulted more than 20 times in the past three years, and one in five nurses reported being verbally abused more than 200 times during the same period. Nurses' indicated factors, such as patients and visitors who were drunk or using illicit drugs, psychiatric patients in the ED, crowding, long wait times, and staff shortages, played a role in their abuse.

Survey findings suggest the abuse has significantly affected nurses' perceptions of safety in the ED and in emergency nursing careers—as one in three said they had considered departing their hospital or emergency nursing because of the violence.

The findings were published in the July/August issue of the Journal of Nursing Administration.

Sources: Emergency Nurses Association and HealthLeadersMedia.com



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