Violence adds to workers’ hazards in nursing homes and psychiatric units

By: November 17th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The Pump Handle: A water cooler for the public health crowd, published a good, succinct post on healthcare workplace violence in “Violence Against Healthcare Workers in Nursing Homes and Psychiatric Hospitals.”

Citing a NIOSH survey of nursing home workers, The Pump Handle reminds that “34% of nursing assistants reported experiencing physical injuries from residents’ aggression.”

Also cited were Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers showing that “nursing homes and psychiatric units are the most dangerous settings for healthcare workers,” according to the post.

I know from an interview with the president of the American Nurses Association, appearing in the December Medical Environment Update, that the association has identified workplace violence prevention as one of its key points for advocacy.

Also on November 2, the Violence Against Nurses law went into effect in New York state. The law offers nurses the same protection as provided to police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. See “NY law makes violence against nurses a felony.”

Are these measures enough or is more needed—perhaps requiring the same nationwide effort as the passage of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act 10 years ago?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Protect your staff and patients from violence in the emergency department. Violence in healthcare—like the recent incident at Johns Hopkins Hospital—is on the rise. Join HCPro for Violence in the ED: Proven Strategies to Keep Your Facility Safe, a 90-minute on-demand Webcast where you’ll learn a five-step approach to keeping your staff and patients safe. Our experienced speakers will also guide you through regulatory requirements related to workplace violence and provide action plans to train staff to handle unruly patients and prevent dangerous situations.

Comments

By Erin Haynes on November 23rd, 2010 at 9:51 am

I have worked in a Tennessee state psychiatric hospital for the past 8 years & have been assaulted 5 times. I attempted to press charges on one occasion (because the attack was intentional by the patient , because she did not want to be discharged from the hospital). However, the case went NO WHERE, because the DA said that “she is mental patient.” Basically, we do not have rights here!

By Nick Geraci, LPN on December 13th, 2010 at 11:14 am

As a nurse in a long term care facility in upstate NY, I am often reminded that it is our CNA’s (certified nursing assistants), that are on the front lines of workplace violence. I have seen aides kicked, punched, spat on and more. When we consider legislation to protect those who have chosen to care for others, we must include ALL healthcare providers. Since in many settings , the support staff is actually responsible for the caring and bathing of the patient, it seems logical that any new law protecting nurses should most definately protect any member of the healthcare team who may be subject to violence. All to often, its is implied by nurse managers and nursing supervisors that dealing with difficult patients is just “part of the job.” I would argue that the level of violence in the long term care setting is grossly unchecked. Furthermore, many facilities seem ill prepared to handle the growing number of violent seniors. The violence I have seen our aides endure would be considered assault and battery outside the confines of our facility. Finally, if we are to believe the ridiculous notion that this violence is “part of the job”, then tell me, why is it not part of our orientation and training? WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR SUPPORT STAFF WITH LEGISLATION AS WELL. OUR HOSPITALS, NURSING HOMES AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES COULD NOT FUNCTION WITHOUT THEM!

Nick Geraci, LPN
Rochester NY

By Advocate Nurse on December 13th, 2010 at 1:51 pm

IF YOU’RE A NURSE LIKE ME, YOU NO DOUBT HAVE NOTICED THE INCREASE IN VIOLENT PATIENTS OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS.
YOU MAY OR MAY NOT BE AWARE THAT ACCORDING TO OSHA NEARLY 50% OF ALL REPORTED WORKPLACE VIOLENCE CASES ARE
INVOLVING HEALTHCARE WORKERS. THE ONLY CONCERN I HAVE WITH THE NEW LEGISLATION IS THAT IT SHOULD BE EXPANDED
TO INCLUDE ANY & ALL STAFF WHO ARE VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE: CNA’S, PATIENT CARE TECH’S, TRANSPORTERS, HOUSEKEEPING AND SO ON.

NO ONE IS IMMUNE, AND IF THE ACTS OF VIOLENCE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT OCCURED OUTSIDE OF YOUR PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT,
THEY WOULD BE CONSIDERED ASSAULT, REGARDLESS OF YOUR JOB TITLE.

EVERYONE DESERVES THE SAME PROTECTION!

 

Leave a Comment

*

« | Home | »

Subscribe - Get blog updates via e-mail

  • test
  • HCPro Broadcast Events Calendar

hcpro.com