Healthcare worker violence is increasing at an alarming rate, making providers’ jobs of looking after patients incredibly challenging. The pandemic has largely fueled this increase in violence.
The uptick in healthcare worker violence has been substantial and affects all types of care providers. Of registered nurses, 44% reported being victims of physical violence, while 68% suffered verbal abuse while on the job. Additionally, four out of five emergency physicians believe there has been an uptick in emergency room violence, and 45% believe the increase is very substantial.
Consequences of Healthcare Worker Violence
Violence against healthcare workers is a daily phenomenon. However, it severely undermines patient care and fuels burnout among care providers.
When providers fear for their own safety, it becomes difficult to focus on treating patients. Ninety percent of emergency physicians agree that violence in emergency rooms impacts the care patients receive. How are healthcare workers expected to focus on the health and safety of their patients when they are worried about their own?
Additionally, violence wears down healthcare providers. Coping with real and perceived threats of violence is exhausting for employees in the medical sector. This causes healthcare staff to leave the field. However, our health systems are already strained by a shortage of healthcare workers. Keeping staff on board is more important now than ever.
What Is Being Done to Combat Healthcare Worker Violence?
Patients and providers deserve to feel safe in healthcare spaces. Congress is considering a law that would tackle this uptick in healthcare worker violence. The Safety From Violence for Healthcare Employees Act (H.R. 7961), known as the “SAVE Act”, classifies threatening or assaulting healthcare employees as a federal crime. The bill would create a new grant program that dedicates funds to hospital safety. This money would go towards implementing new security systems, teaming up with law enforcement to tackle threats, and training staff to de-escalate violent incidents.
The SAVE Act would improve hospital safety and protect healthcare workers. Any step to make sure healthcare professionals can identify and respond to instances of violence is key to protecting patients and staff.
American Medical Compliance (AMC) is a leader in the industry for compliance, billing, and HR solutions. Learn more about how you can protect your providers by taking AMC’s, “Recognizing Abuse and Violence Training For Healthcare Professionals 3.0”. Visit https://americanmedicalcompliance.com/ for more information.
STAT News (2022, November 11). Violence against health care workers is on the rise. They deserve protection. Retrieved from: https://www.statnews.com/2022/11/11/health-care-workers-deserve-protection-from-violence/.