The latest results from a survey by the Emergency Nurses Association Institute for Emergency Nursing Research shows that over any seven-day period in 2010, 53% of nurses reported experiencing verbal abuse and 13% reported experiencing physical violence, according to HealthLeaders Media, November 14 . Furthermore, these results are not much improved compared to a similar survey done in 2009.
In analyzing Emergency Department Violence Surveillance Study, November 2011 , HealthLeaders Media notes:
- Of all the nurses surveyed who indicated experiencing physical assault, 48% said they were grabbed or pulled.
- The most common forms of verbal abuse were yelling or swearing, with 89% of nurses reporting those forms of abuse.
- Patients committed 98% of the physical violence and 92% of the verbal abuse.
- The patient’s room was the most dangerous place for an emergency nurse, with 82% of physical assaults occurring there.
- More than half —56% —of patients who physically assaulted nurses were drunk, 47% were on drugs, and 45% were psychiatric patients.
The report also noted that “66% of nurses did not file a formal report when they were physically assaulted, and 86% did not file a formal report when they were verbally abused.”
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the state legislators have introduced a bill that would protect healthcare workers from assault.
House Bill 1992, introduced by State Representative Nicholas Micozzie (R) and supported by Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals , would require healthcare facilities hospitals to conduct security risk assessments for creating safer workplaces and “help victims of violence report incidences,” according to HealthCanal.com, November 16 .