Workplace violence remains a significant threat to the United States health care workforce. With increasingly aggressive patients, emergency nurses reported that the increased prevalence of workplace violence impacted their professional and personal lives.
This study employed a qualitative, descriptive phenomenological approach with purposive sampling. Participants were asked to describe their lived experience with workplace violence while working as emergency nurses and how this affected them personally and professionally.
Eleven experienced emergency registered nurses from 3 mid-Atlantic hospitals participated in the study. After reviewing, clustering, and validating significant statements, 4 major themes were identified: walking wounded to wounded healer, unexpected shock, betrayal, and resilient but changed.
Our findings were consistent with other studies exploring the effects of workplace violence in emergency departments. We validated that trauma has long-lasting effects. Organizations should ensure that programs and processes are in place to support the nurse or health care worker when workplace violence events occur.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Journal of Emergency Nursing
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Bureau of Labor Statistics.Published. 2020; (Accessed July 15, 2022)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration.(Accessed July 15, 2022.)
- Workplace violence against nurses–prevalence and association with hospital organizational characteristics and health-promotion efforts: cross-sectional study.Int J Nurs Stud. 2016; 56: 63-70https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.12.012
- Workplace violence and perceptions of safety among emergency department staff members: experiences, expectations, tolerance, reporting, and recommendations.J Trauma Nurs. 2017; 24: 65-77https://doi.org/10.1097/JTN.0000000000000269
- Nurse exposure to physical and nonphysical violence, bullying, and sexual harassment: a quantitative review.Int J Nurs Stud. 2014; 51: 72-84https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2013.01.010
- current practices to prevent, reduce or mitigate violence against health care. International Council of Nurses, International Committee of the Red Cross.International Hospital Federation, World Medical Association. July 2022;https://www.icn.ch/system/files/2022-07/Violence%20against%20healthcare%20survey%20report.pdfDate accessed: July 15, 2022
- A systematic review of the literature: workplace violence in the emergency department.J Clin Nurs. 2011; 20: 1072-1085https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03342.x
- Psychological violence against general practitioners and nurses in Chinese township hospitals: incidence and implications.Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2018; 117: 16https://doi.org/10.1186/s12955-018-0940-9
- Violence towards emergency nurses: the 2016 Italian national survey-a cross-sectional study.J Nurs Manag. 2019; 27: 792-805https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12733
- Work. 2015; 51: 5-18https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-141893
- Nothing changes, nobody cares: understanding the experience of emergency nurses physically or verbally assaulted while providing care.J Emerg Nurs. 2014; 40: 305-310https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jen.2013.11.006
- Evaluation of a comprehensive ED violence prevention program.J Emerg Nurs. 2013; 39: 376-383https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jen.2012.12.010
- Implementation of a comprehensive intervention to reduce physical assaults and threats in the emergency department.J Emerg Nurs. 2014; 40: 586-591https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jen.2014.01.003
- Staff perception of interprofessional simulation for verbal de-escalation and restraint application to mitigate violent patient behaviors in the emergency department.J Emerg Nurs. 2019; 45: 24-30https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jen.2018.07.001
- Workplace bullying among nurses and organizational response: an online cross-sectional study.J Nurs Manag. 2020; 28: 148-156https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12908
- Ensuring workplace safety: evidence supporting interventions for nurse administrators.J Nurs Admin. 2019; 49: 525-530https://doi.org/10.1097/NNA.0000000000000807
- The effect of exposure to bullying on turnover intentions: the role of perceived psychological contract violation and benevolent behavior.Work Stress. 2017; 31: 355-374https://doi.org/10.1080/02678373.2017.1330780
- With a kiss: betrayal.Nurs Sci Q. 2018; 31: 6-10https://doi.org/10.1177/0894318417741092
- Incivility, bullying, and workplace violence.American Nurses Association. July 22, 2015;https://www.nursingworld.org/49d6e3/globalassets/practiceandpolicy/nursing-excellence/incivility-bullying-and-workplace-violence-ana-position-statement.pdfDate accessed: March 30, 2022
- Department of Corporate Communication. The Joint Commission. Published June 2021.https://www.jointcommission.org/resources/sentinel-event/sentinel-event-alert-newsletters/sentinel-event-alert-59-physical-and-verbal-violence-against-health-care-workers/#.Y3vqEHbMK70Date accessed: January 7, 2022
- Emergency Nurses Association.(Accessed July 15, 2022)
- A qualitative meta-synthesis of emergency department staff experiences of violence and aggression.Int Emerg Nurs. 2018; 39: 13-19https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ienj.2017.12.004
- The consequences of violence against nurses working in the emergency department: a qualitative study.Int Emerg Nurs. 2018; 39: 20-25https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ienj.2017.07.007
- A middle-range theory of nurses’ psychological trauma.ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2021; 45: 86-98https://doi.org/10.1097/ANS.0000000000000388
- The Theory of the Nurse as a Wounded Healer: From Trauma to Transcendence.Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2002
- Lateral violence in nursing and the theory of the nurse as wounded healer.Online J Issues Nurs. 2013; 19: 5https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol19No01PPT01
- Nurse resilience: a concept analysis.Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2020; 29: 553-575https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12721
- Psychological research as the phenomenologist view it.in: Valle R.S. King M. Existential Phenomenological Alternative for Psychology. Oxford University Press, 1978: 6
- The wounded healer.J Adv Pract Oncol. 2017; 8: 453-455
- Institutional betrayal in nursing: a concept analysis.Nurs Ethics. 2021; 28: 1081-1089https://doi.org/10.1177/0969733021992448
- Underreporting of workplace violence: comparison of self-report and actual documentation of hospital incidents.Workplace Health Saf. 2015; 63: 200-210https://doi.org/10.1177/2165079915574684
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration.https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/OSHA3826.pdfDate accessed: September 2, 2022
NancyPowell is Director, Professional Development; and a Nurse Scientist, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Atlantic City, NJ. ORCID identifier: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6745-9156.
Lindsey Ford is Director, Nursing Education, Magnet and Quality, Geisinger Wyoming Valley, Geisinger Community Medical Center, Wilkes Barre, PA. ORCID identifier: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7885-5074.
Dana Rochinski is Nursing Professional Development Generalist, Emergency Department, Hospital Wide/Emergency Medicine, Geisinger Community Medical Center, Scranton, PA. ORCID identifier: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7215-8403.
Veronica McEvoy is Clinical Manager, Trauma, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Atlantic City, NJ. ORCID identifier: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2526-6510.
Published online: December 12, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Corrected Proof
© 2022 Emergency Nurses Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.