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Workplace violence a growing problem in health care

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

In recent years, the healthcare industry has been grappling with a concerning issue: workplace violence. Doctors and nurses, who dedicate their lives to caring for others, are increasingly becoming victims of aggression within their workplace.

Addressing this issue requires a comprehensive approach, from understanding the root causes to implementing preventative measures and providing support for those affected.

Causes of workplace violence

Understanding the root causes of workplace violence in health care is necessary to address the issue. Several factors contribute to this problem. Stress is among them. Patients and their families often undergo immense stress. This can result in emotional outbursts directed towards health care providers.

Shortages of healthcare staff can also lead to increased stress, frustration and tension among workers, which may escalate into violent incidents. Some patients also have mental health or substance abuse issues that make them more prone to aggressive behavior.

Consequences for health care professionals

The impact of workplace violence on doctors and nurses is substantial. They face both physical and emotional consequences, including physical harm. When doctors and nurses experience physical harm due to an assault, it has the potential to lead to long-term health issues. Experiencing violence can also cause mental distress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Healthcare Finance News reports that 40% of health care workers say they have experienced physical violence at work within the past two years. By prioritizing the safety and mental health of health care professionals, health care employers can help combat this growing problem and create a safer environment for both patients and caregivers.