Recent Study of Nurses Assaulted at Work
In the second quarter of 2022, 5,217 nurses were assaulted at work, according to data collected and reported by Press Ganey. The already shocking number is likely even higher since assaults are generally underreported by healthcare and nursing professionals.
The analysis covered 483 facilities in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI). Additionally, an assault was defined in the analysis as an interaction that involved intentionally forcible, unwanted physical or sexual contact, despite the intent to harm or not.
Some revelations that came out of the report:
- The majority of the nurses assaulted at work were providing care in psychiatric units, emergency departments, and pediatric units.
- The majority of assailants are male; however, women are the majority of assailants in pediatric and rehab units.
- The majority of perpetrators are patients, but a number of family members, co-workers, visitors, and intruders were reported as assailants.
- Most of the moderate to severe injuries to nurses occurred in the psych and rehab units.
Nurses are demanding protection from being assaulted at work. RNs at a hospital in Hollister, California have already bargained for wage increases, a new four-year contract, and the implementation of a Workplace Violence Prevention Committee. The committee will work to address concerns about safety and violence and update policies in accordance with California’s Workplace Violence Prevention in Healthcare Act.
Dangers in Healthcare and Nursing
While nursing injuries and injuries sustained by healthcare professionals while working aren’t novel, healthcare workers have been facing the consequences of compounding issues. In 2020, healthcare practitioners reported 177,650 non-fatal injuries, more than three times the 52,110 cases reported in 2019, according to the National Safety Council.
And while many of the cases were due to exposure to Covid-19, the combination of widespread healthcare worker shortages and increased numbers of hospitalized patients forced healthcare workers, who already face long workdays in intense conditions, to overexert themselves. Nurses and healthcare professionals worked extra hours, without breaks, under extreme stress, and risk their own health in order to treat patients.
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry, but employers often overlook their safety.
Most Common Nurse Injuries
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry, but employers often overlook their safety. Here are some of the most common injuries to nurses:
In 2016, overexertion made up over 50% of nursing injuries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The injuries were most likely caused by bending, excessive physical effort, heavy lifting, repetitive motions, and twisting.
- Fall Injuries
Fall injuries made up 25% of nursing injuries in 2016; however, a study by NCBI found that employers can mitigate and even prevent these types of accidents and subsequent injuries.
Nurses suffer 3x more injuries due to violence in the workplace than workers in other professions.
Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations
An injured worker in California must file a workers’ compensation claim within 1 year of the date they were injured.
Additionally, a worker in California that has been injured must notify their employer of the accident within 30 days from the day they became injured or when they realized they were injured. An employer must provide the employee with a workers’ compensation claim form, and once the form has been filled out and returned to the employer, they have 5 days to send the form to their workers’ compensation insurance company.
If you’ve sustained an injury on the job or have questions about the workers’ compensation statute of limitations in California, request a free consultation today.