Pennsylvania readers know that working in the health care industry comes with its challenges, and one of these may include the increased risk of becoming ill due to exposure or suffering an injury on the job. Many people overlook another danger that health care workers face, and that is the threat of violence in the workplace.
These individuals have to work with patients with a variety of physical and mental conditions, as well as their family members. In many cases, emotions and stress are high, which could lead to people lashing out. If you work in health care and you suffered an injury due to violence in your workplace, you have the right to seek certain types of benefits.
The impact of violence in health care
Approximately five million people work in hospitals across the country. These men and women face an increased chance that they will experience injuries or personal harm because of violence, more than people who work in private sectors. Hospital violence most often comes from patients who direct it at the people who are trying to provide care. The following are examples of how this could happen:
- A patient is mad for being admitted involuntarily.
- A patient reacts violently when told that he or she could not go home immediately.
- The patient is upset after learning he or she cannot smoke or cannot have certain medications.
Hospital managers are aware of this risk, and there are many policies in place with the intent of limiting the risk that a person could suffer harm from patient violence. Most often, patient violence takes place in the form of physical assaults and verbal threats. In some cases, these assaults can be quite serious and result in grave physical harm or emotional trauma for the health care worker.
Protecting yourself as a hospital worker
If you suffered an injury while working in a hospital, you may have a rightful claim to workers’ compensation benefits. If a patient was violent and you suffered harm, you have a right to seek the care, help and financial support necessary to help you obtain a full and fair recovery.
As a hospital worker, you are taking a great personal risk just by showing up at work. Of the many risks you take by providing care to the sick and injured, violence may be the most unexpected, but it is more common than most people understand. You can protect yourself by taking steps to learn more about what to do if you suffered an injury at work.