I’d like to introduce myself as your 2014 Oregon Emergency Nurses Association president. I currently work for Legacy Health in the Emergency Department (of course). I moved to the Portland area in 2005 and started to become active in the ENA a short time after. Being active in the association is important to me; as it keeps me informed of the latest issues within the emergency nursing community, it provides networking opportunities, it provides leadership education and experience, provides scholarships to those continuing their education, and lastly, and most importantly, it promotes the profession of safe emergency nursing care.
We have some exciting upcoming events this year:
- ENA Annual Leadership Conference (March)
- CPEN review course (May, TBA)
- CEN review course (June, TBA)
- Northwest Region Conference (with the Washington ENA (September 19-20, Vancouver, WA))
- ENA Annual Conference (October)
Check out the links for more information.
It is no doubt that it will be a busy year for the Oregon ENA state council, Central Oregon Chapter and the Mid-Valley Coastal Chapter.
My goals for 2014 are as follows:
- To promote safety within the emergency department.
- To educate nursing students on the realities of emergency departments.
- To inform nursing students on the importance of personal safety.
- To continue to increase communication with our Oregon members.
- To increase feedback and participation from our Oregon members.
- To provide affordable, quality educational programs for our members.
Let me explain some of these goals. Physical and verbal aggression remains a problem in our emergency departments. Here’s what some of the studies show:
- Violence is a problem, no matter the size or location of the emergency department.
- Behavioral/mental health patient visits to the ED are increasing, and this population accounts for many of the violent incidents.
- In states where there are laws regarding violence prevention in healthcare, there is low compliance. Data for Oregon hasn’t been collected, but I suspect compliance is low.
- Nurses and patient care technicians tend to bear the brunt of violence, since they make contact with the patient sooner and longer.
- Younger nurses tend to have more incidences of violence. There is another study that refutes this; that it doesn’t matter the age or experience.
- Healthcare is the only profession where you are almost guaranteed to be assaulted at least once in your career.
- Violence in healthcare is 3 times any other business sector in the US.
- One of the latest studies in 2013 showed that the surveyed ED staff experienced 5.528 violent events per person per year. It also predicted that ED staff could be expected to be physically threatened at least 4 times per year and also be assaulted at least once per year.
I could go on, but you get the picture. I believe it is important to start at the foundation. Nursing students need to be informed of what they will potentially face, understand the law, and understand the options that they have.
I know that the membership has concerns, opinions and ideas. I invite you, the member, to bring these forward; whether it be through email or attending a meeting in person or through the web.
2014 looks to be a great year. I appreciate all who have helped, and thank all who will help this year.
Bill Schueler, BSN, RN, CEN
2014 Oregon ENA President
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