Working at a major hospital like UK Hospital, Baptist Health or St. Joseph’s, you need to know that you have a right to remain safe on the job. Unfortunately, there are many hazards that you could come into contact with each day, including patients and their families.
Violent behavior is possible in a hospital setting for a number of reasons. Patients could be dealing with medical issues that result in violent behavior. Their families may be upset after a terrible prognosis or learning about a death.
As a healthcare worker, this is a common cause of frustration and anxiety, but it’s important for you to understand that you do not have to put up with this behavior. Additionally, if you’re hurt, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation to get the appropriate medical care and take the time you need to recover.
Violence is not conducive to a health work environment
Sadly, healthcare workers are often exposed to violence in the workplace. That’s why it’s important for all medical professionals to report incidents of workplace violence and to be proactive about preventing violence issues in the future.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, there are a number of violence issues that crop up in hospitals and healthcare ranging from offensive language to physical attacks and homicides. This is not normal, and it should not be normalized in your workplace.
Healthcare sees a high number of workplace violence injuries
The statistics show that nonfatal workplace violence injuries happen far too much in healthcare settings. In fact, around 67% of all of those injuries happen to those in healthcare, even though healthcare makes up only 11.5% of the overall U.S. workforce.
There are prevention options. Identifying the patients who are agitated or likely to become violent is one step that staff members can take. Recognizing behavioral changes and issues like the escalation of verbal and nonverbal signs could help you minimize the risk of overwhelming a patient or causing disruptive outbursts. Being calm and supportive may help de-escalate many upsetting situations.
If an attack does happen at work, you have a right to seek care. Your employer should also take steps to minimize the risk of an attack happening again in the future.