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Violence and abuse are pervasive in the healthcare industry

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are places of healing and caregiving, where patient health and wellness are top priorities. Patients look to healthcare workers for medical attention and care. But who will care for the patients when the nurses and staff are too afraid to go to work?

Violence against healthcare workers continues to rise. Healthcare workers all over the United States experience verbal and physical abuse in their workplace constantly. Often, patients get away with it due to their health condition or supposedly vulnerable position. However, that should not be the case.

What can hospitals do?

Patients do not go to the hospital for work; healthcare professionals do, and they also deserve a hostile-free workplace. Employers are responsible for their employees, and the same principle applies to the hospital setting. Hospitals and healthcare facilities can do the following:

  • Enforce subtle but stronger security measures
  • Prioritize employee safety
  • Improve patient handling
  • Establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence
  • Implement workplace violence prevention programs
  • Train hospital staff to prevent and de-escalate potentially abusive situations

The hospital should foster a supportive culture where healthcare professionals and hospital staff feel safe to work. Their employees should feel confident to report abuse and harassment whenever it happens so that it will not happen again.

Healthcare workers deserve to feel safe in the workplace

A patient’s illness or condition should not excuse their misconduct or violent behavior. Otherwise, violence against healthcare workers will not end. Doctors, nurses and hospital staff are there to work. It just so happens that their job involves caring for unpredictable patients. The hospital should be proactive and find ways to prevent verbal and physical harassment, so their employees feel valued and protected.