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Many nurses face violence at work

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2016 | Health Law |

Many things can affect what kinds of legal issues end up coming up for a nurse in relation to their work. One is the work environment at the health care facility they work at. Among the aspects of work environment that can be remarkably impactful on nurses is how likely violent incidents (such as attacks by patients) are to arise in their place of work. Being exposed to workplace violence, and the aftermath of such violence, could impact a nurse’s career in many ways.

Unfortunately, it appears that violent incidents have become increasingly prevalent in health care workplaces. Statistics indicate that, in around the past decade, the rate of reports of attacks on health care workers has gone up around 110 percent. Some estimates put the odds of a nurse having been physically attacked on the job in the past year at around one-in-four.

While some hospitals have taken in-depth measures aimed at protecting workers from violence from patients, these types of measures reportedly still aren’t widespread across the nation. This raises some questions as to whether there needs to be more government regulation on this front.

While some states put regulations on hospitals regarding protecting health care workers from workplace violence, there are no national regulations on this topic area. This may, however, soon change. Reportedly, the U.S. Department of Labor has been looking into the possibility of issuing nationwide safety standards when it comes to workplace violence protections at hospitals.

One wonders if nationwide standards will ultimately be issued, and, if they are, what the content of such standards will be?

Do you think there should be nationwide standards for hospitals when it comes to protecting nurses and other health care workers from violence at work? What sorts of measures would you like to see Wisconsin hospitals take when it comes to keeping their workers safe from violence?

Source: The Atlantic, “Why Violence Against Nurses Has Spiked in the Last Decade,” Alexia Fernández Campbell, Dec. 1, 2016

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