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Tillman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Workplace violence a growing issue for health care workers

Nurses and others working in the health care field face the risk of a number of types of injury. These can include injuries from lifting and moving patients as well as the possibility of contracting diseases and infections from patients. Many people may not realize that violence is also a source of workplace injury for these employees.

According to the Occupational Health Safety Network, the number of workplace violence injuries in the health care field rose between the beginning of 2012 and the fall of 2014. The OHSN data indicates that over 2,000 such injuries occurred during that period. The majority of those injured by workplace violence (57 percent) were nurses. Most of the remainder (38 percent) of the injuries involved nursing assistants.

The OHSN notes that being able to identify patients who may be violent is one way to mitigate the risk of being a victim of violence. This includes patients suffering from behavioral disorders, cognitive dysfunction and mental illness. There are also resources available to help health care workers "moderate and prevent violent patient behavior."

Another question raised by this increase in violence by patients is whether doctors should be allowed to ask patients whether they own a gun. Opponents of this idea claim that such inquiries would violate the privacy rights of patients.

People who have been the victims of workplace violence may suffer not only physical but also emotional harm. They have the right to seek compensation for the treatment of these injuries as well as disability coverage for lost wages. It may be helpful to seek experienced legal guidance to help seek the compensation you need and deserve.

Source: HealthcareDive.com, "Violent injury in the healthcare workplace on the rise," Julie Henry, accessed July 07, 2015

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