12/31/2014, Epidemic of Violence against Health Care Workers Plagues Hospitals


Nurses often have to get uncomfortably close with extremely stressed-out people, so an element of aggression is perhaps inevitable. Some assaults come from people experiencing psychosis or other mental crises. Dementia and in-home-care patients are also frequent sources. Much of the violence is less explainable, however. In the 2014 survey, almost 50 percent came from patients and family members who were drunk or on drugs. Plenty of people attack nurses out of simple frustration…

Jeaux Rinehart, a registered nurse for more than 30 years, was working at Virginia Mason Medical Center in 2008 when a patient seeking methadone attacked him with a billy club, breaking his cheekbone…

The Veterans Health Administration has successfully reduced assaults in its hospitals by electronically flagging high-risk offenders, such as people who have been abusing drugs and alcohol and those with a history of attacks on caregivers, who are then treated with extra precautions…

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