Violence against nurses has always been an issue. Patients may lash out violently when nurses are simply trying to help them. This sometimes happens because people don’t want specific types of treatment. It can also happen if the patient is dealing with a cognitive or mental disorder. Perhaps they have dementia and do not realize that the nurse is trying to help them.
However, statistics have found a concerning trend. When you look at the data from 2022, roughly 2 nurses were attacked by patients every single hour. The average for the year was 57 of these attacks every day.
Additionally, nurses are concerned that there aren’t very many protections in place. One director of nursing said that the fact that it is a female-dominated profession has played a role in this. He also noted that the health concerns of the last few years have amplified the situation and resulted in more violence against these nurses.
Who carries out these attacks most often?
Reports also claim that the majority of the attackers are male. This could also play into the male/female dynamic, as most nurses are female.
Additionally, it wasn’t just patients who were a threat to these nurses. In some cases, they were attacked by angry family members or visitors. Some nurses even faced attacks from their coworkers. It’s clear that violence is on the rise in all directions.
Some of these attacks could result in quite serious injuries, such as broken bones, bruises, lacerations, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and much more. This is especially problematic considering that nurses sometimes have to deal with delicate or dangerous equipment. For example, a patient who attacks a nurse who was trying to administer a shot could put that nurse at risk of a needle stick.
What options do nurses have?
With violence on the rise in this profession, the risk of injury is something that all nurses need to be aware of. Those who have been hurt on the job certainly need to know about all of the legal options at their disposal.