By virtually every study conducted on workplace violence, the health care services industry ranks #1 in combined injuries and death. In fact in 2016, there were 35 deaths and 22,590 injuries resulting from workplace violence. It is reported by the US Government OSHA organization that 80% of emergency workers experience physical assault during their careers. The same report indicates that 75% of all workplace assaults happen in a health care facility.
The statistics are staggering. Twenty one percent of registered nurses and nursing students reported being physically assaulted. In the study the total assaulted were over 3,765 nurses. Even in the Veterans Health Administration hospitals, 13% of all employees reported workplace violence constituting well over 9,000 individuals. Its no wonder that the Tarrant County Hospital in Fort Worth Texas installed metal detectors at public entry points and upon installation, confiscated over 300 weapons per month including pocket knives, meat cleavers, ice picks, and hand guns. The Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan upon implementing metal detectors, confiscated 800 weapons per month.
Why is Healthcare services increasingly a more dangerous workplace for health care professionals?
In hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings, sources of potential violence include patients, visitors, intruders and even coworkers. One only has to read the headlines regarding the opioid crisis, gang violence in urban areas, distraught family members with mental issues and domestic disputes that spill over into the health care workplace and result in sometimes fatal results. At a minimum there are thousands of injuries every year.
What can you do?
The best thing to do is to acknowledge that the potential exists for your health care place of work and then have an assessment conducted by professionals who can do the following:
- Evaluate the layout and design of your hospital.
- Evaluate the security operations plan and policy.
- Determine the right training/education for medical care professionals.
- Conduct reality based training for active shooter incidents.
- Determine your weapons confiscation plan.
Has your medical care facility developed a plan and prepared your employees for a potential lethal event that would have devastating and life treating consequences? Now is the time to collaborate with professionals who have first hand experience. Click here to contact us.