My latest column was published this morning in USA Today: Violence is symptom of health care dysfunction.
Violence is most common in psychiatric facilities and emergency departments, but can also be seen in waiting rooms, long-term care facilities and critical care units. Nurses are the most frequent targets. According to a 2010 survey from the Emergency Nurses Association, more than half of emergency room nurses were victims of physical violence, including being spit on, shoved, or kicked, and one in four reported being assaulted more than 20 times over the past three years. The survey noted that the violence appeared to be increasing at the same time the number of alcohol-, drug- and psychiatric-related patients was rising.
Clearly, we must do better protecting those charged with healing the sick.
Enjoy the piece.