Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)
We are pleased to shine the spotlight on the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), an exceptional Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Champion.
No one should feel unsafe at work. Yet workplace violence is one of the biggest challenges facing Emergency Department (ED) nurses. Workers in healthcare settings are four times more likely to be victimized than workers in the private industry, says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The worst part: Many nurses have accepted the verbal and physical abuse as a difficult yet "normal” part of the job. But all violent situations should be reported, every time.
That’s why workplace safety has been the primary focus of ENA as it aligned with ANA Enterprise’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ (HNHN) Grand Challenge. The topic has been the platform for ENA President Patricia (Patti) Kunz Howard, PhD, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, NE-BC, FAEN, FAAN, for all of 2019.
Safety is central to the health and well-being of all ENA members. ENA uses social media, email and other platforms to spread the message on mitigating workplace violence to its members. ENA’s biggest platform — The Emergency Nursing Annual Conference — occurs every fall.
The Workplace Violence Toolkit
One of ENA’s highest priorities has been the creation and deployment of its Workplace Violence Toolkit. Available for download online, it includes all of the resources nurses need to become more mindful of workplace safety.
“It starts with situational awareness,” says Howard. “For example, most nurses don’t think much of it if they’re bending over the patient to start an IV on the far side of the bed. It’s safer to not have to bend over the patient. But they’re so focused on taking care of the patient, they don’t think about their own safety.”
The toolkit, however, educates nurses on common predictors of — and precursors to — violence, both personal and environmental.
Going Beyond Workplace Safety
Once nurses feel safe, they can focus on improving other areas of their health and wellness. In particular, the ENA emphasizes quality of life. At UK HealthCare, where Howard is the enterprise director for emergency services, team members established call-sharing responsibilities where each member of leadership takes a week to be “on call.” This gives everyone a chance for legitimate downtime.
ENA’s annual education and networking conference is another opportunity to promote health and wellness to thousands of ENA members. In 2019, the mornings kicked off with a wellness activity, such as a “Namaste with ENA” yoga session for members and the “Sunrise Stretch” wellness activity.
“It allows attendees to take some time for a bit of mindfulness and self-care that will get them restored and energized for more learning and networking,” said Howard.
Next year’s conference will be September 8-11, 2020 in Las Vegas!
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