Minnesota nurses place themselves at risk for many hazards, including infectious diseases. People not involved in the health care industry may not realize the full scope of the dangers that health care workers face. Most surprising might be the amount of violence directed towards the nurses and others.
Violent patients and risks to nurses
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration reveals stunning facts about workplace safety: 50% of workplace violence victims are health care professionals. The number of violent incidents might be even higher since not every altercation ends up reported.
A nurse doesn’t always know how a patient will react when brought into an emergency room or hospital ward. Someone under the influence of drugs could react violently and require restraints. Other times, a seemingly docile patient could react violently upon receiving a troubling diagnosis.
Even when the patient does not intend to hurt anyone, nurses may suffer injuries. A struggling patient could cause a nurse to slip and fall, leading to injuries. Navigating trip hazards becomes difficult when handling an uncooperative patient.
Addressing the dangers
A nurse might suffer from far more than minor injuries. Some clashes between nurses and patients could result in serious harm, a fact that may drive some facility managers and executives to take workplace safety seriously. Increasing security in a hospital may help prevent some incidents or, at the very least, allow trained personnel to respond to an altercation. Security can’t be everywhere or react in a split second all the time, however. Therefore, workplace training is vital to enhancing safety.
Injured nurses might file a workers’ compensation claim after an assault. Filing a lawsuit against the patient may also be an option to help the injured health care personnel recoup costs.