Article Discusses Violence Faced by Nurses; ANA Launches Health Risk Appraisal

December 4, 2013 | Risk Management News

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Healthcare risk managers may be interested in a November 27, 2013, USA Today article that discusses the risk of violence faced by nurses in hospitals and other healthcare settings. According to the article, tragedies such as the recent stabbing death of a Texas nurse who was caring for a patient on a surgical unit are relatively rare, but they underscore the disproportionate risk of physical violence that many nurses face at work. The article presents data from several sources, including 2011 data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health indicating that from 2003 through 2009, eight registered nurses were fatally injured at work, four from gunshot wounds, and that in 2009 alone, registered nurses reported 2,050 nonfatal assaults requiring an average of four days away from work. The article states that in most cases of nonfatal assaults, patients or residents of healthcare facilities are the perpetrators; however, in the Texas case, the nurse was stabbed by a visitor to the ambulatory surgery center, the patient’s son, who believed that the caregivers were trying to kill his mother.

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