Working in healthcare can be an extremely satisfying career choice. Like other healthcare professionals in Texas, you probably take great joy from caring for your patients. You already understand some of the associated risks of working in a medical setting, but those risks are often worth it. However, did you know that you could be at a higher than average risk for workplace violence?
While violence against healthcare workers sometimes takes the form of verbal abuse from patients and their family members, it often manifests as physical violence. Victims of these acts often suffer physical and emotional wounds and are forced to time off of work to recover.
Hospitals can be dangerous for workers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines an act of serious workplace violence as one where a victim has to take time off work. From 2002 to 2013, the healthcare industry experienced serious workplace violence incidents at a rate four times that of other industries.
Are security measures working?
Hospitals, clinics, outpatient facilities and other healthcare locations should implement safety and security protocols to better protect employees. Many facilities now have things like panic buttons and metal detectors. Access to patient care areas is sometimes restricted to only those who have badge privileges.
Metal detectors seem to be effective at removing weapons from medical facilities. When the Cleveland Clinic installed metal detectors in its facilities, they began to confiscate an alarming amount of weapons. Knives, razor blades, box cutters, screwdrivers and firearms are just some of the most commonly confiscated items.
Were you a victim of workplace violence?
Not everyone understands that injuries from workplace violence are a type of work-related injury. This means that victims can seek compensation for their injuries. If your employer provides workers' compensation coverage to workers, then it is wise to explore your options.
Additionally, in some cases, victims of workplace violence may be able to pursue compensation directly from their employer, generally in the form of a civil suit. If you have lingering medical bills, pain and suffering and financial damages from taking time off work, take action today. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on this time-sensitive matter.