There isn't much good news in the latest nationwide survey of workplace violence against emergency department nurses. Despite the media attention generated by the 2009 survey, which showed that emergency nurses rank with cops and prison guards when it comes to on-the-job verbal and physical abuse, and the needle hasn't moved in the last two years.
The latest results from the ongoing Emergency Department Violence Surveillance Study of 7,169 emergency nurses nationwide found that 53% of nurses reported experiencing verbal abuse and 13% reported experiencing physical violence over any seven-day period in 2010. Those results are almost identical to those in the 2009 survey.
"The only thing good I see coming out of this is that we continue to let people know that this is an issue. Public awareness is important because it's the public who is committing the violence," says AnnMarie Papa, RN, president of the Emergency Nurses Association, which compiles the survey and report.
What's frustrating is that although the number of zero -tolerance policies is up, Papa says, "the violence in those facilities with zero-tolerance policies is just a little down from what it was the two years ago when we last did the study."
Here are some other notable findings: