Violence Against Nurses in the Emergency Department

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Violence Against Nurses in the Emergency Department
Kimberly L. Kirk Professional Nursing Practice of the Baccalaureate Nurse
August 8, 2014

Violence against Nurses in the Emergency Department
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workplace violence is defined as “an act of aggression directed toward persons at work or on duty, ranging from offensive or threatening language to homicide” (Wolf, Delao & Perhats, 2014, p.305). Workplace violence (WPV) can include verbal, physical, and emotional abuse, or any type of threatening behavior that can cause physical or emotional harm. According to the Emergency Nurse’s Association Position Statement (2010), “workplace violence is a serious occupational risk for the emergency nursing workforce and has been recognized as a violent crime that requires targeted responses from employers, law enforcement, and the community.” Due to the lack of research concerning workplace violence and other barriers such as underreporting, failure to prosecute, and lack of management support the enormity, of this issue is grossly underrepresented. Individuals who assault ER nurses should be prosecuted. Without increased and consistent prosecution for assault on emergency nurses, patients and families will still think it’s acceptable to physically or verbally assault a nurse. As the ENA position statement (2010) proposes, stronger legislation is necessary to help decrease the view that violence is just part of the job and all assaults against emergency nurses should undoubtedly result in felony charges in every state. By implementing increased legislation and adequate research, we can begin to move towards a safer working environment.
Having specific policies and procedures creates a concrete standard of practice in reporting violence, which removes management bias or personal…...

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