Healthcare Safety/Security Training

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Healthcare Safety/Security Course:


More assaults occur in the health care and social services industries than in any other. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported in 1998 went on to say: We had similar reports in some documents we produced; however, more than one person told us that citing a 1998 (or other years) report looked old and outdated. In some older reports, we took out the date. In others, we found newer reports to replace the older.
“Of greater concern is the likely under-reporting of violence and a persistent perception within the health care industry that assaults are part of the job. Under-reporting may reflect a lack of institutional reporting policies, employee beliefs that reporting will not benefit them, or employee fears that employers may deem assaults the result of employee negligence or poor job performance.”

The University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center’s 2001 “Report to the Nation” on workplace violence observed: “Of particular concern is the high rate of violent incidents targeting health care workers. On some psychiatric units, for example, assault rates on staff are greater than 100 cases per 100 workers per year.” And a study conducted by the Emergency Medical System of Virginia reported that “violence associated with patient care is the primary source of non-fatal injury in all health care organizations today.

”The Virginia report also noted that “hospital based medical workers currently have the highest rate of non-fatal assaults over all other sectors of employment.”

Nurses experience the most assaults, but physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, nurses’ aides, therapists, technicians, home healthcare workers, social/welfare workers, and emergency medical care personnel are all at risk of violence by patients or a patient’s friends or relatives. Psychiatric units are particularly dangerous, as are emergency rooms, crisis and acute care units, and admissions departments.

The high rate of assaults on health workers has numerous causes. In urban emergency rooms, as one study noted, “increasing numbers of unscreened violent and potentially violent persons are brought by the police.”

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