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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Emergency Nurse as Crime Victim: Workplace Violence Contributors, Consequences, and Reporting Behavior
by Swanson, Kim, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2014, 263; 3579834
Abstract (Summary)

Workplace violence committed against emergency nurses persistently continues with many factors contributing to this global phenomenon. As a result, victims experience a myriad of personal, professional, and organizational consequences. Unfortunately, underreporting remains a troubling problem that produces an obscured picture of the actual characteristics influencing this phenomenon. Interviews, a reflexive journal, and documents were used by the author of this qualitative collective case study to achieve the purpose of this study: to understand the lived experiences and reporting behavior of emergency department nurses as crime victims The author purposively sampled 10 emergency nurses who reported workplace violence while working at a Lee Memorial Health System hospital in Lee County, Florida. Thematic cross-case analysis demonstrated that emergency nurses work in a chaotic environment and violence is underreported due to the time it takes to report and confusion with violence definitions. Findings showed that law enforcement attitudes toward reporting negatively influenced nurses but that contact outside of work had no influence. Nurses were unaware of or rejected a crime victim identity and reported receiving support from supervisors but not hospital administration. Hospital security officers and crime preventive measures were seen as ineffective. Seasonal effects, unrestrained Baker patients, along with unmet patient expectations were contributing factors to workplace violence. Future reporting was influenced by unsatisfactory outcomes and law enforcement presence.

Recommendations for practice brings together law enforcement, hospital administration and nurses to evaluate existing policies, incorporate legal topics into existing training, implement a risk assessment instrument in triage, and conduct crime prevention surveys.

Future research should include other hospitals to see if similar results are found, also investigate peer-to-peer violence, compare hospitals that have full-time law enforcement officers in the emergency department with those who do not to see if it affects the number and severity of violent incidents, and evaluate the effectiveness of using a violence risk assessment instrument in triage.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nguyen, Trent
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing, Criminology
Keywords: Crime victim, Emergency nurses, Lee county, Reporting violence, Violence against nurses, Workplace violence
Publication Number: 3579834
ISBN: 978-1-303-82548-4
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