Barriers to Effective Screening for Domestic Violence by Registered Nurses in the Emergency Department

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Triage nurses in the emergency department are in a unique position to screen for domestic violence. This study, using Orlando's theory with a focus on two of her five major concepts, identifies barriers that prevent effective screening for domestic violence. A quantitative survey was distributed to 101 registered nurses employed in a large emergency department. Results identified three major barriers and a relationship between age and inservice attendance on domestic violence. Education on abuse and resources should be essential in nursing school curricula. Policy development and review should be part of an annual, mandatory inservice for all emergency nurses.

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