Safety

New report: One in two nurses is a victim of workplace violence

Hospital Safety Insider, July 29, 2009

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Nurses probably won’t be surprised by this, but the figures in a recent study are nonetheless shocking:More than half of all ED nurses have experienced physical violence on the job.

The study by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) also indicates that:

  • One in four ED nurses has experienced physical violence more than 20 times in the past three years
  • One in five nurses has dealt with verbal abuse more than 200 times during the same period
A total of 3,465 emergency nurses who were ENA members participated in the anonymous survey, which was conducted in 2007.
 
ENA recommends the following steps to help thwart violence against nurses:
  • Establish a culture of acceptance for reporting violence incidents, such that alerting superiors about violence isn’t seen as weakness
  • Develop clear and consistent procedures for reporting violent incidents
  • Provide assaulted nurses with access to medical care and counseling as needed
  • Appoint an interdisciplinary task force to identify vulnerabilities in the ED and develop a plan for preventing, mitigating, responding to violence
The complete study will appear in the July/August issue of the Journal of Nursing Administration.
 
Meanwhile, all subscribers to Briefings on Hospital Safety and the Hospital Safety Center can download our special report, “A look at healthcare workplace violence.”



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