The Lived Experience of Violence in Accident and Emergency

Ethel Hislop, Vidar Melby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To investigate the lived experience of violence of nurses in one A&E department. RATIONALE: Following an extensive literature review, it was elicited that there was very little evidence of the psychological impact of violence in A&E. BACKGROUND/INTRODUCTION: Violence in the health service has increased over the last decade associated with a corresponding increase in the published literature on this topic. While violence in A&E departments would appear common, little evidence exists on the psychosocial impact of these incidents on A&E nurses. RESEARCH METHODS: A qualitative domain using a phenomenological philosophy was utilised. Sampling was of a volunteer nature and data were collected using interview. Nurses were sampled from one major acute hospital in Northern Ireland. RESULTS: Participants expressed feelings of frustration, anger, and fear. Support from colleagues was greatly valued and lack of feedback from management was cited as being common. DISCUSSION: Frustration and anger were synthesised into the "why me" principle with nurses not knowing why they were the focus for attack. Violent incidents were associated with a sense of isolation but colleague support developed a sense of belonging. CONCLUSIONS: Whilst a useful insight was provided, more research is essential into this emotive topic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-11
JournalAccident and Emergency Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2003


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