Violence in the Emergency Department

Nursing is the only profession that tolerates continual and repeated patient abuse as an everyday occurrence. Violence against nurses appears to be an unstated and accepted aspect of the job that is tolerated by the healthcare profession and administration. Throughout the history of the U.S., nurses have been the target of disgruntled patients (including their families), especially in times of economic downturns where staffing is maintained at skeletal levels and patients are increasingly stressed due to unemployment and lack of healthcare insurance. Because of the intimate nature of giving nursing care, nurses are at the forefront of patient abuse.

This course examines the causes of this violence, methods of prevention, and what administrative and legislative changes might address the issue in the future.

Questions? Check out our FAQs page and How Online IV Certification Works!


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize evidence of abusive behavior that might lead to patient-related violence.
  2. Determine when to seek help before active abusive behavior escalates into violence.
  3. Explain how to effectively handle lateral violence (bullying) by nurse to nurse and physician to nurse.
  4. Compose recommendations on how to collaborate with leadership to implement anti-violence training.


Chapter 1: Introduction - Recognizing and Preventing Violence

  • History of ED violence
  • Workplace Violence Defined
  • Prevalence of ED Violence
  • Costs of Violence
  • Healthcare Dollars Spent
  • Causes of Violence in the ED
  • Other Types of ED Violence Experienced
  • Recognizing ED Violence
  • Preventing ED Violence
  • Methods to De-Escalate Violence
  • Healthcare Administration and National Organizations Commitment to Address ED Violence
  • Current Legislative Action to End ED Workplace Violence
  • Looking to the Future

Chapter 2: Violence in the Emergency Department - Vignettes

  • Violence in the Emergency Department Vignette #1
  • Violence in the Emergency Department Vignette #2
  • Violence in the Emergency Department Vignette #3

Chapter 3: References

  • References
  • About the Author
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $10.00

Contact Hour: 1

Course Author

HTRSD is a provider of continuing education training focused on human trafficking and other social disparities for health care providers, as well as courses that address nurses' health and well-being and under-served topics in advanced critical care.

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