Nurses face many potential injury hazards on the job. They could contract diseases after a needle stick, for instance, or suffer back and spinal cord injuries after trying to lift a heavy patient. Nursing is not an easy job and comes with plenty of risks.
But one area where risks seem to have been increasing lately is in regards to intentional violence against health care workers – including nurses. This has always been a potential problem, but recent statistics show that it is on the rise.
Compared to other industries
One important thing to do is to compare the odds of a workplace violence incident in other industries to that of the health care industry. What you will find is that people who work in hospitals and other health care settings are five times as likely to be impacted by this type of violent event. In fact, when looking at the statistics from 2018, health care workers made up 73% of on-the-job injuries that were not fatal.
What types of risks are there?
Some nurses have shared their stories to show how these events take place and what risks they face. They talk of having weapons used on them, having patients spit at them and experiencing direct physical violence, like being punched, kicked or otherwise attacked. And this doesn’t even count the verbal abuse that nurses may be subjected to before the physical attack begins.
Nurses do have to work with many patients who may pose a risk to their health and safety. When they are injured on the job, they also need to be sure they know exactly what legal steps to take.