Survey: Emergency Nurses Express Job Satisfaction Despite Workplace Violence

According to a survey of 1,000 members of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), 86 percent of survey participants said they have been the victims of workplace violence in the past 3 years.

Nearly 20 percent of survey participants said they experience workplace violence frequently and more than 40 percent indicated their workplace is somewhat safe or not safe at all, according to ENA.

Despite the harrowing conditions reported by some nurses, 64 percent of survey respondents said they are very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their job, according to ENA. The association released the results of the survey as part of Emergency Nurses Week, which runs through Oct. 14.

That so many emergency nurses reported they are satisfied with their jobs "is a testament to their dedication and commitment to providing optimal, compassionate patient care," said 2006 ENA President Nancy Bonalumi, R.N., MS, CEN.

"Workplace violence, emergency department crowding and the nursing shortage are very real challenges to the nation's emergency nurses," Bonalumi said. "It is reassuring to see that those in the profession are able to persevere through these obstacles and continue to provide quality care to thousands of patients each week."

According to ENA, 75 percent of respondents expect to be in the nursing industry 10 years from now. Many indicated that they "could not imagine doing anything else."

Patient Interaction, Camaraderie Among Top Reasons for Job Satisfaction

The ENA survey also found:

  • Patient interaction (93 percent), camaraderie with fellow nurses (88 percent) and their impact on pediatric patients and their families (60 percent) are the top reasons for emergency nurse job satisfaction.
  • Hospital administration (82 percent), nursing staff shortages (64 percent) and crowded emergency departments (59 percent) are among the top reasons for emergency nurse job dissatisfaction.

The survey findings come several months after a report issued by the Institute of Medicine identified major concerns about the state of emergency care in the United States related to patient safety, disaster preparedness, emergency department crowding and staffing shortages.

In response to these reports, ENA joined IOM in its call to action to improve emergency care on the local, state and federal levels via increased funding for adequate training programs, efforts to regionalize and coordinate emergency care and the establishment of a governing body to oversee reform in the emergency care system, according to ENA.

"Emergency nurses make up the safety net for the U.S. health care system," Bonalumi said. "While ENA works with other organizations to address major challenges to the U.S. emergency care system, including patient safety, workplace safety and ED crowding, our members continue to fulfill their commitment to patients and patients' families and to make a difference where they can in the healthcare system. Emergency Nurses Week is our way of recognizing their efforts."

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