Nurses Face Increased Risk of Workplace Violence

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) has estimated that 2 million Americans a year are subjected to workplace violence. Specifically, there has been new light shed on the violence that many health care providers face on a daily basis. Nurses are most likely to experience workplace violence, with up to 82% of emergency room nurses reporting that they have been the subject of physical violence, and 100% claiming they had been subjected to verbal violence, according to a survey conducted by the Emergency Nurses Association.

Last month, the issue of workplace violence for nurses rose to the forefront when a cardiologist was shot at a Boston hospital, allegedly upset over his mother’s death. Although shootings at hospitals are not common, violent crimes in hospitals have been increasing as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Emergency room nurses and nurses who work in psychiatric wards are among those employed by the profession that faces the highest risks of injury resulting from violence in their workplace. Many of those who attack nurses are under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, or suffer from mental illness. Last year, a 70 year old nurse went into a coma and suffered brain damage as a result of a patient repeatedly kicking her in the head at a New York hospital. OSHA found that particular hospital had 40 incidents within 3 months, failing to take proper measures to prevent such scenarios from occurring.

As well as violence causing injury in the workplace, nurses also face a number of other job related injuries and illnesses that are prevalent in the profession. Back injuries, slip and falls, exposure to chemicals and diseases, and the injuries that may arise from a patient’s violent episode can all contribute toward a Worker’s Compensation claim if you have to miss work due to your condition.

If you are a nurse who has been the victim of workplace violence or suffered injury as a result of performing your job, you are eligible to file a NYS worker’s compensation claim. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will work aggressively to secure full and appropriate compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP have experience representing clients before Workers’ Compensation boards throughout New York City and Long Island, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. For a consultation, call (866)557-7500.

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