Some of the risks that come from working in a hospital are so obvious that people readily acknowledge them. Slipping on slick floors or in bodily fluids is a potential risk, as is accidentally sticking yourself with a needle or getting exposed to dangerous substances or even radiation.
One thing that fewer people will consider is the potential for violence in hospital settings. While not as prevalent as falls or overworking your body, violence is one of the leading causes of workers’ compensation claims filed by hospital staff.
How common are injuries from violence among hospital workers?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, violence represents one of the most pressing concerns for those who work in hospital settings. Roughly 9% of worker injuries that result in time off of work in a hospital setting are the direct result of violence.
Who might be at risk for violence in a hospital?
It’s easy to see how emergency room workers might get exposed to violent individuals brought in by police or people who lose control while under the influence of drugs. However, many different parts of the hospital could face violence.
Those who work with people who have cognitive issues, such as the elderly or those with brain tumors, could experience dementia-related violence from patients. Those working in any part of a hospital who provide care to an inmate or someone subject to arrest upon discharge could get attacked. It’s even possible for a disgruntled former spouse to commit a violent act in a maternity ward because they want access when the woman giving birth doesn’t want them there.
Workers who get hurt in hospital settings have the same rights to compensation as workers and other fields, although they will likely benefit from getting help with what can be a difficult process.