Violence a cause of workplace injuries for medical professionals

Medical professionals in California often choose to go into the field of medicine because they are dedicated to helping others. Unfortunately, they may not realize that their decision could result in harm to themselves. Some in the medical community are working to shed some light on the issues of workplace injuries suffered as a result of an attack — a risk that doctors and nurses seem to face more than people in other fields.

A recent article that reviewed several different studies set out the examine the prevalence of workplace assaults in the medical field. The review found that approximately 75 percent of workplace assaults happen to those working in health care. Visitors or patients are typically behind most assaults.

The study indicates that nurses and their aides seem to be most at risk for assault, likely because they tend to spend more time with patients. However, doctors are victims as well. For example, a quarter of doctors who work in the emergency room reported being physically assaulted in the year before the study was conduct. Psychiatrists are especially at risk for assault.

Unfortunately, researchers believe that a number of assaults against medical professionals go unreported, as many workers feel it is simply the nature of their job and the overall culture minimizes risks. In some cases, an assault could result in serious workplace injuries requiring workers to seek medical treatment for themselves as well as causing them to miss work. Because California requires employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage, these workers could qualify for compensation following an attack that occurs as they are completing their job responsibilities.

Source: ABC News, “Health Care Employees Bear Brunt of Workplace Assaults, Research Finds“, Dr. Gretchen Winter, April 27, 2016

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