Reducing violence and aggression in the emergency department
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Reducing violence and aggression in the emergency department

Denise Powley Community staff nurse, NHS Lothian District Nursing Services

Denise Powley reflects on an abusive and potentially violent incident involving a patient with alcohol dependence and mental health problems

Emergency department (ED) staff, particularly nursing students and inexperienced nurses, are at risk of violence and aggression from patients. However, by reflecting on violent incidents, nurses can gain new knowledge, improve their practice and prepare themselves for similar incidents. This article refers to the Gibbs reflective cycle to analyse a violent incident involving a patient with mental health and alcohol-dependence problems that occurred in the author’s ED. It also identifies strategies for nurses to pre-empt and defuse violent situations.

Emergency Nurse. 21, 4, 26-29. doi: 10.7748/en2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 02 July 2012

Accepted: 13 June 2013

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