Analysing workplace violence against healthcare workers

Workplace violence is a serious and growing problem in U.S. healthcare
facilities, and nurses and nursing assistants face the greatest risk. At the
same time, incomplete reporting of workplace violence highlights the need to
improve monitoring and surveillance to protect healthcare workers, a National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study reports in the
American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Among hospitals participating in the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN),
the rate of workplace violence increased dramatically from 2012 through 2015,
climbing an average of 23% each year. Of the 112 hospitals participating in the
OHSN during the study, 106 tracked and reported workplace violence data
included in the study. Overall, these hospitals recorded 3,263 incidents of
workplace violence. By occupation, direct patient care was significantly more
likely to involve workplace violence than other occupations, such as
environmental services, housekeeping, laundry, food service, security, and
administration. Nurses had the highest number of workplace violence injuries,
and nursing assistants had the highest rate of injury. Women were affected more
than men, accounting for more than two-thirds of all incidents.

The researchers also found that several reporting categories lacked information
about severity of the assault, type of assailant (patient, worker, or visitor),
and type of assault (verbal, physical, or against property). These categories
are critical to developing interventions to prevent workplace violence. When
records did include severity information, they showed that nearly half of the
incidents resulted in lost work days, job restrictions, or transfers. When
records included the type of assailant, patients were the most common
assailants, accounting for nearly all of the incidents recorded. Finally, when
records included the type of assault, nearly all were physical assaults to the
healthcare worker, as opposed to verbal assaults or assaults against property.

Further Information

AplusA-online.de - Source: The American Journal of Industrial Medicine