Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Anna Hamrick


Workplace violence, as a result of violent patient behavior, is a problem in health care settings and the incidence is increasing. The vulnerability of the emergency department (ED) contributes to the high incidence of violence and includes long waits, crowded spaces, high anxiety levels, substance abuse, and a large number of behavioral health patients seeking treatment. ED team members admit they do not always feel safe when caring for patients due to the risk of violent behavior. Workplace violence effects team member productivity, job satisfaction, and burnout. Team members are at risk for injury or harm and coping challenges as a result.

Evidence shows that a triad of interventions can be used to improve confidence and the perception of safety amongst ED team members in an effort to address the challenges of workplace violence. Interventions include policy updates, procedure enhancements, and education. The interventions are an effort to improve communication amongst team members and enhance safety. Policy updates reflect zero-tolerance of workplace violence, reporting, and procedures to follow in the incidence of a violent episode. Procedure enhancements to the electronic medical record (EMR) provide a method to “flag” patients who are violent or have a history of violence, providing team members a sense of awareness of potential risk. Patient “flagging” provides an alert in the EMR and improves safety by notifying public safety and the patient’s care team during each encounter. Education to increase knowledge and raise awareness about workplace violence, zero-tolerance policies, and procedures is a final intervention to improve safety.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Nursing Commons