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Addressing Emergency Department Nurses’ Experiences of Workplace Violence through the Development of a Peer-based, Post Code Gray Support Tool



Verbal threats and physical assault while caring for patients has become a global problem in the healthcare industry. Nurses make up a large percent of healthcare employees and often spend the most face time interacting with patients, increasing their risks of experiencing violence. Nurses are affected by violence in ways that impact their well-being on both a personal and professional level. A lack of support to assist nurses in coping with these frequent occurrences of violence was identified. This project aimed to formulate a tool that combined debriefing and psychological first aid methods to be utilized by emergency department nurses and staff for post-code gray incidents. The tool was designed to be a brief, immediate, and informal response intervention that would meet the fast work pace of the emergency department to establish a caring dialogue between people, elevate a culture that does not accept violence as “part of the job,” and promote organizational support for nurses.

Keywords: workplace violence, emergency department, nurses, critical incident stress debriefing, psychological first aid, code gray, badge buddy

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