When you work in healthcare, there are naturally going to be workplace situations that can put you at risk of being injured. You may suffer a sprain or strain when tending to patient needs, you may hurt yourself because you slip on a wet floor, or you may even contract an illness because of an accidental needle stick. However, those in the healthcare industry are also at risk of facing another type of injury: assault. OSHA claims that people in the healthcare industry are at a particularly high risk of being involved in a violent attack. Here are a few things you need to know about why your risks are higher than they would be in some other employment fields.
You Work with Patients Who May Be in an Altered State of Mind
Whether you work in the mental health field or a nursing home, those patients you tend to may not always be at a fully conscious state of being. Therefore, they could lash out at you unexpectedly, hitting, biting, kicking, or pushing you, for example. people under the influence of medications also fall into this risky category because even they sometimes don't fully know how to express or control their frustrations in certain situations.
You Work in a Place Where There Is Not as Much Security as There Should Be
In most medical facility settings, funding goes more toward the necessities and paying staff than it does to security. Therefore, a lot of hospitals, nursing home facilities, and medical treatment facilities simply do not have a good level of security. Therefore, if someone wanted to assault you, they would have more of an opportunity to do so. Likewise, an assault is more likely to go unnoticed because of under-staffing problems and lack of surveillance.
You Often Work Alone in Treatment Rooms
Being alone in a treatment room is pretty common in a lot of medical settings, which does put your safety at risk when you are dealing with some patients or the public who has been granted access to the property freely. Additionally, a lot of medical care providers are tasked with transporting patients to and from treatment areas that are in mostly private or secluded areas, which also can be a risk.
The bottom line is, being assaulted as a healthcare worker is something that could happen, and if it does, it is your employer's responsibility to ensure your injuries are covered. If you have been injured on the job, reach out to a workers compensation defense lawyer, such as those from Dawson & Associates, LLC, for advice.