Health care workers experience significantly more injuries at work due to violence than workers in all other industries, with a particularly higher risk to health care workers in Emergency Departments (EDs) (Copeland & Henry, 2017, p. 65). Following a violent event, 94% of nurses experienced one or more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which have a significant relationship with work productivity (Gates et al., 2011, p. 59). Workplace violence (WPV) events are linked to poor staff retention, poor quality of care, increased staff burnout, and patient/visitor dissatisfaction (Renker et al., 2013).
These issues can be addressed with a simple screening tool in the triage area of the Emergency Department. The STAMP screening would consist of a yes/no answer by the triage nurse if the patient exhibits one or more signs of the evidence-based STAMP assessment: staring, tone of voice, anxiety, mumbling, and pacing (Weeks et al., 2013). By utilizing the STAMP screening, patients who have potential to become violent during their ED visit can be identified and indicated to ED staff on the track board of the department so appropriate measures can be taken to prevent escalation or address it appropriately if it occurs.
This STAMP screening protects staff, patients who could become violent, and patients who are often bystanders in violent situations in the ED. It would be a low-cost intervention to implement, requiring the addition of a yes/no screening to the triage screen and a column on the ED track board. Staff could be trained via email and in person at staff meetings and shift reports, requiring no additional cost for staff education. Evaluation of the intervention’s success would involve comparing the amount of workplace violence (WPV) events before and six months after implementation. By implementing the STAMP assessment, patients and staff can experience an environment of safety in the ED with minimal cost to the institution.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project
Masters of Science in Nursing
Wilson, Adrienne, "Workplace Violence in the Emergency Department: Screening with the STAMP Assessment" (2020). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 43.