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901/333-STCC * www.southwest.tn.edu

DATE: March 16, 2001

CONTACT: Calvin Burns, 901/333-5338 or Marilyn Duncan, 901/333-4247

STCC's Erickson to Lecture on Patient Assaults on ER Nurses

Attitudes of Emergency Nurses Regarding Patient Assaults is the topic of a special program being sponsored by the Department of Nursing at Southwest Tennessee Community College. The presentation is set for 2:00 p.m., Friday, March 23, in the M-Building Auditorium on the Union Avenue Campus, 737 Union Avenue. Lisa Erickson, Assistant Professor of Nursing at STCC, is the featured speaker. The event is free and open to the public.

Erickson is a RN, MSN, FNP, CEN and CCRN. The lecture is based on the findings of her study examining the extent and frequency of patients' assaults of emergency nurses. The study was designed to identify and explore their attitudes regarding patient assaults. A survey was taken of ER nurses from two hospitals in the Mid-South. The Attitude Toward Patient Physical Assault Questionnaire was used to collect data.

Eighty-two percent of the nurses surveyed had been assaulted during their career. Thirty-six percent of these assaults were unreported. Seventy-three of the nurses surveyed agreed with the following statement:
"Nurses can expect to be physically assaulted at some time during their careers."

Results of Erickson's study were published in the June 2000 edition of the Journal of Emergency Nursing. She has been asked to lecture on her research by numerous nursing and medical organizations.

"There was a 98 percent response rate to the questionnaire," Erickson said. "This is a clear indication that there is an extremely high level of interest in this topic. Patient assault of nurses has become an accepted occupational hazard. The belief that being assaulted goes with the job helps to perpetuate the victimization of today's health care worker."

For more information, contact Lisa Erickson at (901) 333-5425.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.