Violence can occur in any workplace, but 75 percent of all workplace assaults happen to healthcare professionals. These incidents of violence, which can range from verbal assaults to attacks with weapons, have many healthcare workers on alert as they navigate their day-to-day responsibilities. Understanding violence in healthcare settings can help workers and students better equip themselves to stay safe and reduce the chances of an encounter. This guide discusses what violence looks like in healthcare settings, why it happens, and what workers and employers can do to mitigate risk. You can also find resources and get advice from an expert in workplace violence reduction.
Forms of Violence Against Healthcare Workers
Identifying workplace violence in healthcare can be surprisingly tricky. Understanding what workplace violence is and how it happens can help you maintain a safe workplace and know how to address it when it occurs.
Protecting Yourself Against Workplace Violence
Avoiding violent situations at work is ideal, but in healthcare settings, this isn’t always easy. Not all instances of violence are preventable, so students and employees should take steps to protect themselves and minimize damage in advance.
What if it Happens to You? A Checklist
Workplace violence may be prevalent in healthcare careers, but workers do not have to let it go unaddressed. Preparing for incidents of violence at work can help you handle potentially dangerous situations. How you react will depend on the type and severity of violence, but these tips can give a general idea of things to do if you face workplace violence.
What Should Your Employer Be Doing About Workplace Violence?
Workplace violence is a reality for most healthcare workers, but as this epidemic gets more exposure, healthcare facilities are working to minimize violence and its damage. Prevention strategies can vary to meet the specific needs and limitations of different facilities, but these are some things to look for in a healthcare workplace. If your workplace is lacking in safety features and violence prevention systems, remember that they may be open to making changes based on accepted violence-reducing protocols in the healthcare workplace.
Healthcare Violence in the Workplace Resources
Healthcare Workplace Violence: Expert Q&A
Phil La Duke is the author of Lone Gunman: Rewriting the Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention. Prior to his current position as a global business consultant, Phil was a talent development manager for Trinity Health, one of the U.S.’s largest healthcare systems. There he was a certified Just Culture professional and trained many of the healthcare systems’ top executives.