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Brian, Zwick, Stone & Associates
Law Firm in North Canton, Ohio
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Health care's dirty little secret: Violence against nurses

Being a nurse is a tough but often rewarding occupation. Those who choose it understand they will make sacrifices and face risks as a result. As a nurse, you may have believed that the injuries or illnesses you suffer would come from lifting patients, accidentally pricking yourself with a needle, or exposure to biological materials or bloodborne pathogens.

All of these scenarios and more do happen, but most nurses either fail to understand or choose to ignore another threat to their health and welfare -- violence from patients and visitors. It happens more often than anyone wants to admit. Understanding the scope of the problem could help keep you safe.

Let's look at some facts and data

One reporter made a video about the violence nurses face in the workplace, and it yielded the following information:

  • Threats and attacks are simply part of the job, according to many hospitals.
  • Since 2012, workplace violence against nurses increased by 30%.
  • Each year, approximately 2,400 nurses suffer due to workplace violence.
  • The increase may result from an increase in patients with substance abuse or psychiatric problems.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn't have standards regarding workplace violence.
  • OSHA reduced the number of inspections related to workplace violence in hospitals. The ones that did occur most often resulted in warnings in lieu of citations.

So, where does this leave you? Even if you are lucky enough to work in a hospital that prioritizes your safety, you could still become a victim of a patient or visitor's violent outburst. The injuries you suffer could keep you from working while you recover. You may also need significant medical care and counseling in connection with the ordeal. The loss of income and increasing medical costs creates more stress than you need during this time.

Ohio's workers' compensation insurance program could provide you with the relief from this stress that you need. Benefits would cover your medical and medical-related needs, along with a portion of your income as you recover. Receiving these benefits may not be as easy as it sounds. Delays and denied claims are possible, and experiencing these events will not help with your recovery.

You don't have to go it alone

Just as you rely on medical personnel and others for support through your ordeal, you can also find support with your legal issues. You don't have to face this alone.

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