More than 20% of employees say hospitals aren't addressing workplace violence

Violence against nurses, physicians and hospital staff continues to plague the healthcare industry, and despite multiple calls for action, in a recent poll from Becker's on LinkedIn, 23 percent of respondents said their hospital does not have a plan currently in place to protect workers.

An additional 8 percent of the 430 respondents said their hospitals have a plan in development. It is important to note that Becker's does not have detailed insight into the respondents' roles or organizations in LinkedIn polls outside of the information that is publicly available.

"[In] my previous place of employment, a [patient] was obviously inappropriate. He was quite aware of what he was doing. The issue was brought up to the [management]. Absolutely nothing [was] done," Cari Johnson, RN, a nurse at Promise Healthcare in Wichita Falls, Texas commented. "Unfortunately it has become more and more common for the public to yell at, harass, abuse and be just ugly to healthcare workers. Not sure what the answer is."

This year alone, multiple acts of violence have happened within the walls of healthcare facilities — ranging from shootings to acts of physical violence — and statistics show they continue to rise. 

It's why both the American Nurses Association and National Nurses United have backed the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, which was reintroduced into the U.S. House and Senate on April 18.

"Nurses have been punched, kicked, bitten, and choked or threatened with extreme violence. Tragically, some nurses have even lost their lives after being attacked on the job," Deborah Burger, RN, president of National Nurses United, said in an April news release. "This is why we urgently need legislative action to hold our employers accountable, through federal OSHA, for having a prevention plan in place to stop workplace violence before it occurs."


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