ENA and AONE Guiding Principles on Mitigating Violence in the Workplace
January 5, 2015 • Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is an increasingly recognized safety issue in the health care community. Workplace violence is generally defined as any act or threat of physical assault, harassment, intimidation and other coercive behavior. It also includes lateral violence, or bullying, between colleagues (e.g. nurse/nurse, doctor/nurse, etc.). In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported health care and social assistance workers were the victims of approximately 11,370 assaults by persons. While workplace violence against health care professionals can and does happen everywhere, the hospital emergency department is among the most vulnerable settings. According to a 2011 study by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), 54.5 percent out of 6,504 emergency nurses experienced physical violence and/or verbal abuse from a patient and/or visitor during the past week. The actual rate of incidences of violence is much higher as many incidents go unreported, due in part to the perception that assaults are “part of the job”.
The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and ENA convened a Day of Dialogue to discuss how incidents of violence are currently addressed in hospitals, as well as the need to create an environment where health care professionals, patients and families feel safe. The outcome of the meeting was the development of guiding principles, as well as a tool kit, to assist nurse leaders in systematically addressing measures to decrease and control violence in the workplace. The focus of these resources is the hospital setting; additional work is needed to address workplace violence across the care continuum.
To learn more download the Guiding Principles and Priorities PDF document.