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Posted: September 17th, 2023

Role of Nurse Leaders in Preventing Violence in Emergency Rooms

Role of Nurse Leaders in Preventing Violence in Emergency Rooms

Emergency rooms (ERs) are often the site of violent incidents involving patients, visitors, and staff. Violence in ERs can have serious consequences for the safety, well-being, and performance of nurses and other healthcare workers. Nurse leaders have a crucial role in preventing and managing violence in ERs by developing and implementing policies, programs, and practices that foster a culture of safety and respect.

Policy Development and Implementation

Nurse leaders should collaborate with executive-level leadership, risk management, legal, security, and occupational health services to create clear and concise policies that reflect zero tolerance for violence in ERs. The policies should state that those who commit physical violence against staff will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that those who engage in verbal threats, abusive language, harassment, bullying, or coercion will face appropriate disciplinary actions. The policies should also outline the reporting mechanisms, investigation procedures, and follow-up support for victims of violence. The policies should be communicated to all staff members, patients, and visitors, and enforced consistently and fairly (Demming & O’Neill, 2020).

Program Development and Implementation

Nurse leaders should establish a multidisciplinary committee to oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive workplace violence prevention program for ERs. The program should include:

– A risk assessment to identify the sources, types, and frequency of violence in ERs
– A training curriculum to educate staff members on how to recognize, prevent, and respond to violence in ERs
– A flagging system to alert staff members of patients or visitors with a history or potential for violent behavior
– A behavioral contract to set expectations and boundaries for patients or visitors who exhibit disruptive behavior
– A security plan to ensure adequate staffing, equipment, and protocols to protect staff members from violence
– An evaluation plan to monitor the effectiveness and outcomes of the program (ENA, 2021).

Practice Development and Implementation

Nurse leaders should promote a culture of safety and respect in ERs by modeling and encouraging best practices for preventing and managing violence. These practices include:

– Building rapport and trust with patients and visitors
– Using effective communication skills to de-escalate conflicts
– Seeking assistance from colleagues or security when needed
– Reporting all incidents of violence promptly and accurately
– Seeking medical attention and counseling if injured or traumatized by violence
– Supporting colleagues who are victims of violence
– Advocating for policy changes and resources to address violence in ERs (Tavernero, 2009).


Violence in ERs is a serious issue that affects the health and safety of nurses and other healthcare workers. Nurse leaders have a vital role in preventing and managing violence in ERs by developing and implementing policies, programs, and practices that foster a culture of safety and respect. By doing so, nurse leaders can enhance the quality of care for patients, the satisfaction of staff members, and the reputation of the organization.

Works Cited

Demming, J. M., & O’Neill, L. (2020). Leaders’ role in stopping workplace violence. American Nurse Journal.

ENA. (2021). Workplace Violence. research essay writing service.

Tavernero, T. (2009). Employee Safety: Preventing Violence in the Emergency Department. Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare.

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