WASHINGTON, D.C.—The statistics are staggering. According to surveys by American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), almost half of emergency physicians and about 70 percent of emergency nurses have been physically assaulted at work.
That’s why ACEP and ENA have launched “No Silence on ED Violence,” a campaign to stop these attacks and protect emergency department (ED) professionals and patients. This joint effort aims to support, empower and protect those working in our nation’s emergency departments by raising awareness of the serious dangers emergency health providers face every day, and by generating action among stakeholders and policymakers to ensure a violence-free workplace for emergency nurses and physicians.
“If you asked the majority of our nurses and our physicians, they have all been impacted directly by violence—as have I. It goes everywhere from verbal violence, which happens frequently, to physical violence,” said ACEP President William Jaquis, MD, FACEP. “Ultimately, we hope that in sharing our stories we will gain insight and share resources on how to prevent any future harm to our medical teams and our patients.”
Added ENA President Patti Kunz Howard, PhD, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, NE-BC, FAEN, FAAN, “No nurse or physician in the emergency department—or any other health care professional—should feel unsafe. We’re there to care for people, not to have to question our own safety. Workplace violence is really important to us in the emergency department because it really impacts the care we deliver.”
The frequency of violent attacks on nurses, physicians and patients in our nation’s emergency departments is unconscionable and unacceptable. For medical professionals, being assaulted in the emergency department—a place intended for care and healing—must no longer be tolerated as “part of the job.”
Through No Silence on ED Violence, ACEP and ENA aim to drastically reduce emergency department violence and allow emergency physicians and nurses to able to focus on providing lifesaving treatment without living in constant fear for their safety. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.StopEDViolence.org where you can also hear an interview with Drs. Jaquis and Howard.
Join the conversation and share your stories on social media by using #StopEDViolence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Watch video testimonials on ED violence here.