Fighting Health Care Violence

Workplace violence is all too common in health care, especially in emergency departments. So, it is critical emergency nurses take steps to help minimize incidences of violence in their interactions with patients. 

“This topic is not new to health care, but we finally have data and research that can possibly mitigate this hot topic,” said Natasha Lukasiewich, who is moderating a session today titled “We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore: Action Against Health Care Violence.”

We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore: Action Against Health Care Violence

2:30 – 5 p.m.


Room 305

“Organizations have the duty to provide safe and healthy workplaces to staff. It’s bad enough our industry is experiencing high burnout and turnover rates of caregivers; workplace violence should be eliminated from this equation.”

Lukasiewich and fellow moderator William Schueler will guide attendees through the issues perpetuating the workplace violence epidemic, research on building effective violence-prevention programs and the tools available to effect change.   

“Our session will cover topics ranging from prevention and training to the aftermath of workplace violence,” Schueler said. “Our objective is to take the necessary time to flesh these topics out and discuss what is being done and what we can improve. 

Schueler and Lukasiewich will highlight real-life cases during the hour-and-a-half-long session and encourage participants to do the same. 

“Everyone has a story, and I’m confident fellow ED nurses will be sharing their experiences and thoughts during the session,” Schueler noted. “I myself have been used as a spitting target and had someone get their hands around my neck and start to squeeze.” 

He said while he has not been seriously injured by his attackers, others have been less fortunate. 

“Their powerful stories prove we can do a better job at prevention, training and support,” he remarked.

Schueler said he and Lukasiewich want attendees to walk away from the session with something new to use on their violence-prevention journey, whether it be a new insight, tool, strategy or perspective.

“I firmly believe this deep-dive can do that and invigorate us to take action against workplace violence,” he said.

Highlighting the importance of the topic, a separate session today, titled “A Collaborative Approach to Mitigating Violence in the Workplace,” will be held from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. in rooms 411 and 412. This session, moderated by ENA President Jeff Solheim, will discuss the joint efforts of ENA, the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety to address the epidemic of workplace violence against health care workers.