Brandy Fischer


Barriers to and Increasing Domestic Violence Screening in Nursing

Purpose: Our aim was to explore knowledge, rates, and consistency of bedside registered nurses’ (RN) screening practices for domestic violence (DV) in acute care settings.

Methods: A cross sectional-survey was used to understand screening practices of bedside RNs. A convenience sample of RNs, licensed in Florida, were recruited through the state Board of Nursing. They were emailed the purpose, consent, and modified PREMIS (Physician Readiness to Manage Intimate Partner Violence Survey) survey.
Results: Out of 176,000 emailed, 808 bedside RNs responded. Results indicated that 25.7% had over 11 hours of DV training and 60.9% felt moderately to well prepared to screen for DV. Conversely, 57.7% reported that they knew none, to moderate number of appropriate screening questions, and 34.2% believed victims could not make appropriate decisions. Moreover, few RNs knew Joint Commission standards (35.7%), believed they had sufficient resources (39.1%), received enough training (20.9%), and screened patients regularly (45%). Finally, RNs reported significant barriers to DV screening, like, lack of time (66.6%), private locations (21.5%), no protocols (60.6%), and unfamiliarity with protocols (55.7%).

Discussion: Registered nurses are lacking in consistency and frequency of screening for DV. Their knowledge of DV screening, resources, and signs of abuse are also deficient. An effective screening tool and implementation, and adherence to workplace policies are needed in acute care settings to improve screening consistency, rates, and knowledge, and remove perceived barriers.

Conclusions: Workplaces should provide employees with expectations, training, and effective screening methods for DV. These are essential to improve DV screening by bedside RNs.

Major Professor: Mandy Bamber, PhD, RN






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