Violence at Work- A Study of Workplace Violence in Hospitals
Nurses, doctors and hospital staff members often work long hours in difficult condition. Though the work is gratifying it is also taxing. A rising source of injury for health care workers is workplace violence. A study funded by the Alberta Foundation for Medical Research found that hospital employees are highly likely to suffer from abuse, both mental and physical from those around them.
The study surveyed more than 9000 nurses, asking if they had experienced any of the following types of violence within the last five shifts:
- Physical assault
- Threat of assault
- Emotional abuse
- Verbal sexual harassment
- Sexual harassment
Researchers asked the workers to indicate who had perpetrated the violence: a patient, family, visitor, physician or nursing co-worker. The results showed that many nurses were being harmed while at work.
One in five nurses reports more than one type of violence in a five-shift period. For example, within the five shifts they may have been physically assaulted by a patient and sexually harassed by a co-worker. Researchers found that patients were responsible for the majority of the violence. However, hospital co-workers were found to be responsible for 56.7 percent of all emotional abuse and 53.6 percent of all verbal sexual harassment.
Nurses often do not report the abuse they take. Often, violent actions by patients such a food throwing, pinching or hair pulling are not reported. If the violence is perpetrated by another health care worker a nurse is even less likely to report it.
Violence in the hospital setting does not just lead to an uncomfortable work environment; it causes serious injury every day. Workers comp claims are especially high for health care workers. Violence, slippery surfaces and the expose to a vast array of chemicals and medication are a threat to every nurse, doctor and hospital employee.
If you have been hurt while on the job you have rights. Please contact your Connecticut (Ct) workers compensation attorney at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren today for your free consultation.