More than half of ER nurses say they’ve been physically assaulted on the job, reports USA Today. The Emergency Nurses Association says the figure emerged from a 69-question online survey of more than 3,000 ER nurses.
The nurses said they have been spit on, hit, pushed, shoved, scratched or kicked by patients while on duty. The incidents are partly a result of the nature of the job and the fact that emergency rooms accept all comers, association president Bill Briggs says. Other precipitating factors: a shortage of ER nurses, patient crowding and prolonged wait times. One in four nurses reported experiencing assaults more than 20 times in the past three years, and one in five said they had experienced verbal abuse more than 200 times during the same period.