Exposure of Emergency Nurses to Workplace Violence and Their Coping Strategies: A Cross-Sectional Design

Published:October 25, 2022DOI:



      Violence against nurses working in the emergency department is a serious problem worldwide.


      This descriptive study used a participant questionnaire and was conducted in-person, using semi-structured interviews with 120 emergency nurses (69 female, 51 male) working in the emergency department between September 1 and November 30, 2017.


      Overall, 90% of the study participants were exposed to workplace violence at least once while working in the emergency department, and 94.4% experienced verbal abuse, including insults, shouting, threats, and swearing. Most of such workplace violence came from the patients relatives. Most workplace violence incidents occurred during the 4 pm to midnight time slot and in the triage area. The most important perceived reasons for workplace violence were the long waiting period for treatment and care (79.6%) and not being prioritized for treatment (68.5%). The top 3 coping methods used were reporting to the nurse in charge (78.1%), followed by reaching out to the security personnel (72.8%) and filing lawsuits if exposed to physical violence (65.8%).


      Most emergency nurses had experienced workplace violence. Hospital administration should take more effective security measures, hospitals should provide education and training programs for dealing with workplace violence, and programs to support staff members on encountering workplace violence should be implemented.

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      İsmail Öztaş, Hakkari University, Vocational School of Health Services, Hakkari, Turkey. Twitter: @OztasIsmail. ORCID identifier:


      Ayla Yava is a Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Hasan Kalyoncu University, Gaziantep, Turkey. Twitter: @YavaAyla. ORCID identifier:


      Aynur Koyuncu is an Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Hasan Kalyoncu University, Gaziantep, Turkey. Twitter: @AynurKoyuncu17. ORCID identifier: