One of the ways that nurses get injured on the job is when they suffer physical attacks, often committed by their own patients. In some cases, nurses may also be attacked by other family members who are in the hospital.
This has become more common in recent years. In one study, for example, the data demonstrated that it was five times as likely that a nurse or a healthcare worker would be harmed through workplace violence when compared to employees in other professions. Why is it that nurses in particular are subjected to violence so often?
It’s a stressful situation
One potential reason is just that the situation itself is stressful. Maybe that patient is dealing with serious health complications. They may be taking medications that impact their mood. They’re experiencing chronic stress while they are in the medical institution. As soon as anything goes wrong, they simply may be more likely to react in a violent and aggressive manner. This doesn’t make it the right decision, of course, but it helps to show how stress can create a violent environment.
Additionally, some patients may not fully trust healthcare professionals. Perhaps they have read misinformation online, so they don’t really understand the necessary treatments or medications. A nurse or a doctor may simply be trying to convince the patient to accept the treatments that will be most beneficial to them, but a patient who has read online misinformation may not agree and could become violent as a result.
No matter why it happens, though, nurses need to be aware of the risks they face on the job and their legal options if they suffer injuries.