Emergency Nurses at Risk: Confronting safety challenges

Emergency Nurses at Risk: Confronting safety challenges

In the bustling emergency departments where every second counts, nurses are the frontline heroes, providing care and comfort to those in need. Yet, behind the scenes of their tireless efforts lies a stark reality: emergency department nurses are facing an alarming prevalence of workplace violence.

A recent survey conducted by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) uncovered a troubling statistic: approximately 25%  of emergency department nurses reported experiencing physical violence more than 20 times in the past three years. This revelation sheds light on the hidden epidemic of violence that plagues emergency healthcare settings.

Understanding the Scope of the Issue

The ENA survey highlights the staggering frequency with which emergency department nurses encounter physical violence in the workplace. From verbal threats to physical assaults, these dedicated professionals endure a range of aggressive behaviors that compromise their safety and well-being.

The Impact on Emergency Department Nurses

The implications of this statistic are profound and far-reaching. Beyond the immediate physical harm, repeated incidents of violence take a toll on the mental and emotional health of emergency department nurses. The constant threat of violence contributes to stress, anxiety, and burnout, ultimately affecting the quality of patient care.

Addressing the Crisis

Urgent action is needed to address the crisis of workplace violence facing emergency department nurses. Healthcare institutions must prioritize the implementation of robust violence prevention measures, including enhanced security protocols, staff training, and support services for affected nurses.

Equally important is the need for a culture shift within healthcare organizations to foster a zero-tolerance approach to workplace violence. By promoting a culture of respect, communication, and support, healthcare facilities can create safer environments where emergency department nurses feel valued and protected.


The ENA survey serves as a wake-up call for healthcare leaders and policymakers to recognize and address the pervasive issue of workplace violence in emergency healthcare settings. By taking decisive action to protect emergency department nurses and create safer work environments, we can ensure that these dedicated professionals can continue to deliver high-quality care to patients in need.

As we strive to build a future where violence has no place in healthcare, let us stand in solidarity with emergency department nurses and work together to create a safer and more supportive workplace for all.


Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). Workplace Violence in the Emergency Department Survey, 2010

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