Hospitals and other medical facilities are typically associated with making people better. Thus, it may come as a surprise to some that violent incidents occur in medical facilities — particularly in waiting areas, emergency departments and psychiatric units.
Violence is very hard to explain or predict, but there are some common factors in violent incidents in medical facilities. Outlined below are a couple of reasons why these occur.
Sometimes, a person may have entered a medical facility after abusing drugs or alcohol. These substances have the potential to influence a person’s judgment and ultimately their behavior. Certain individuals become more affable when under the influence, while others can become scared, paranoid and even aggressive. Depending on the unique situation a hospital worker finds themselves in, the outcome of such interactions with patients will vary, but in the worst-case scenario, they could end up in violence.
As the name suggests, the emergency room can be a tense environment. Patients often find themselves here when their lives are in danger, and it is up to medical workers to try to save these lives. One common injury that nearly all emergency rooms see is gunshot wounds. Occasionally, these may occur due to rival gangs disputing over territories. If two members of opposing gangs end up in the emergency room together, violence can potentially spill over into the medical facility and staff could end up being hurt.
As a hospital worker, your health and safety are as important as anyone else’s. If you have been hurt on the job, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation.