Almost everywhere that you turn inside a hospital, there are employment risk factors. You have to provide hands-on medical support for patients who may have transmissible medical issues. You work with items that could cut you or electrocute you. Even helping hospital patients get in and out of bed or to the bathroom could result in an injury.
With so many threats to workers’ well-being in a hospital, it would be easy to overlook one of the top causes of hospital worker injuries. Violence is actually responsible for a significant portion of all lost time incidents in modern hospitals, and the number of violent assaults and attacks that occur in medical facilities has been on the rise in recent years.
Why are hospitals seeing an increase in violent situations?
There is actually a very straightforward explanation for why hospitals see so much violence. The professionals working in the medical industry agree to provide treatment and care for everyone, including criminals and those who make very questionable life choices.
Police officers might transport someone to the hospital if they get injured during the process of entering state custody. Those injured or sickened while in prison could also require hospitalization. The presence of criminals in the hospital is obviously a risk factor for nurses and other staff members.
However, there are other concerns beyond criminals. Sometimes, people end up in the hospital because they have an adverse reaction to prescribed medication, alcohol or illegal street drugs. Individuals under the influence of a mind-altering substance could become erratic and violent.
Older adults experiencing dementia or frantic to leave medical care because they don’t want to lose their independence could lash out at the staff members only trying to protect them. Sometimes, people waking up after a head injury or surgery can also have explosive and inappropriate responses to their hospitalization.
Workplace violence can lead to workers’ compensation
Even if there is a criminal or addict clearly to blame for your injury on the job, you can still potentially get workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation coverage can replace your lost wages if you need to leave of absence during your recovery and can also pay for the medical treatment required because of the attack you experienced at work.
Even if you do not prosecute the individual involved or pursue any sort of complaint against them because of extenuating circumstances, you can still secure benefits based on the impact of the injuries. Understanding when a work injury qualifies for workers’ compensation coverage will help those struggling with the practical consequences of a recent work injury.