Nurses Are Receiving More and More Violent Workplace Injuries Every Year
According to a recent study published by the American Nurses Association, nursing is now one of the most dangerous places to work, with one in four nurses being assaulted on the job: Patients trying to use pipes to attack their nurse, violent outbursts, nurses being punched and suffering from broken ribs, noses, physical and verbal attacks, being scratched and bitten, and suffering from additional physical and verbal abuse. In fact, according to this same study, 70 percent of all workplace assaults and acts of violence occur in social services and healthcare settings, and just between 2011 and 2016, almost 60 hospital workers died from workplace violence.
According to the statistics that OSHA has gathered (which only include incidents that led to time away from work), serious workplace violence incidents were four times more common in healthcare than in the private industry and in 2013 alone, the sector had almost eight cases of serious workplace violence incidents per 10,000 full-time employees–more than even the construction industry.
Injuries in The Healthcare Sector & Causes
Injuries in these fields do not just include physical assaults and threats, nor do they only come from patients: There is a significant amount of verbal violence also involved in the profession, which can cause significant psychological trauma and stress. Verbal assaults can also eventually escalate into physical violence. And while 80 percent of violent incidents were caused by interacting with patients, others were caused by coworkers, visitors, and others.
According to experts, the job has become increasingly dangerous largely due to a lack of mental health services and the opioid epidemic, leaving more and more patients with psychological and addiction issues. In addition, unlike other injuries, such as a slip and fall, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cannot accurately track these injuries because they are often not reported to the agency at all. Arguably, the hospitals and other facilities where these nurses work are not doing enough to encourage their employees to come forward in order to address these issues: One survey found that only 69 percent of physical assault and 71 percent of non-physical assaults were reported to managers, and half of all physical and verbal assaults by patients against nurses were never reported in writing. The reasons behind underreporting include workplaces failing to have a reporting policy, employees not having faith in the reporting system, and a fear of retaliation.
If You’ve Been Hurt On the Job, Contact Our Texas Injury Attorneys
If you are a nurse here in Texas and have suffered from a workplace injury–including an injury that is the product of violence–or verbal harassment–contact our Houston workplace injury attorneys at The West Law Office to find out how you can receive the compensation you need to fully recover and protect yourself.