In the News: Addressing Workplace Violence in Healthcare

Healthcare workers have experienced a dramatic increase in workplace violence in recent years. In one survey, nearly 82% of nurses reported experiencing a violent event in the past year. This has the potential to exacerbate existing labor challenges, as 6 in 10 nurses say they’ve left or considered leaving their jobs due to these events.

This month’s news roundup dives into the increased rates of workplace violence in healthcare as well as what states are doing to better protect healthcare workers.

NNU Report Shows Increased Rates of Workplace Violence Experienced by Nurses

Healthcare workers, especially nurses, are facing a surge in workplace violence rates. In a recent report from National Nurses United (NNU), a majority of respondents reported experiencing a violent workplace event, and nearly half said they saw an increase in violence over the past year. The report also highlights healthcare employers’ failure to implement effective prevention strategies, which has fueled the staffing crisis.

What Is Your State Doing to Protect Healthcare Workers Who Are Potentially in Harm’s Way Every Day?

Without federal laws that address violence against healthcare workers, protecting those workers has fallen to state legislatures. A recent paper in JAMA examines these state-level efforts to protect nurses and other healthcare professionals from harm by patients and visitors. The research shows a significant increase in workplace violence incidents, prompting states to enact laws that increase criminal penalties, enhance worker protections, and even allow healthcare facilities to establish independent police forces for better security.

States Move to Protect Healthcare Workers in Light of Attacks

More than half of the U.S. states are considering legislation to protect healthcare workers due to a rise in violent incidents. Recent reports and surveys highlight the severity of the issue, including one 2022 survey that found that 57 nurses were assaulted every day between April 1 and June 30 — a total of over 1,700 assaults per month. State legislatures are looking into increasing penalties for attackers and mandating improved safety plans at healthcare facilities, as Congress has yet to act on this growing concern.

‘This Mindset Must Change’: 4 Things Industry Leaders Want to Change in Healthcare

Medical association leaders see several issues in healthcare that must be addressed. Concerns include the escalating problem of workplace violence, patient care delays, staffing and retention challenges, and affordability issues caused by high-deductible health plans that deter patients from seeking necessary care. Healthcare leaders emphasize the importance of addressing these issues promptly to ensure patient and provider safety and well-being.

How CNOs Can Prevent Workplace Violence

In this video, Dr. D’Andre Carpenter, Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive at Allina Health, discusses how CNOs can help prevent workplace violence and support nurses after incidents occur. He also details how his organization in particular equips team members to deescalate stressful situations and prevent violent situations.

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