Safety

How to know ED violence is imminent

Hospital Safety Insider, January 21, 2016

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For the most part, healthcare facilities are safe places. Healthcare itself can be a very rewarding profession. But that reward doesn't come without risk. Unfortunately, patient violence in the healthcare workplace is becoming more commonplace. According to The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), approximately 60% of all workplace assaults and violent acts occur in the healthcare and social assistance industries.

According to the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, "Workplace violence is one of the most complex and dangerous occupational hazards facing nurses working in today's health care environment."

More than 53% of about 7,000 emergency room nurses surveyed reported experiencing verbal abuse at work. Thirteen percent reported experiencing physical violence in the past seven days.

And violence isn't just directed at nurses. In November 2013, a nurse at a Texas surgical clinic was killed when she tried to help victims of a man who went on a stabbing spree with a knife. In January 2015, a renowned cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston was shot and killed by a man who had an issue with his mother's treatment. The man was able to walk into the hospital and ask for the doctor by name, and killed himself after shooting the physician.

Unfortunately, many healthcare workers sense that violence in the workplace is an accepted occupational hazard. They perceive the industry is tolerant of violent individuals. But it doesn't need to be this way. You can make a difference while being safe doing your job.

This is an excerpt from the monthly healthcare safety resource Briefings on Hospital Safety. Subscribers can read the rest of the article here. Non-subscribers can find out more about the journal, its benefits, and how to subscribe by clicking here.

 



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