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Workplace violence plagues hospital nurses

There are few workers more valued and important than the nurses who care for patients at Charlotte hospitals. Their work is not always appreciated, however. Far too often, nurses are subjected to workplace violence that results in injuries.

In addition, hospital nurses say they are targeted for verbal abuse, groping and harassment on an almost daily basis.

The problem is so widespread that the federal government's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that more than 70 percent of all workplace assaults between 2011 and 2013 happened in health care workplaces (hospitals, doctors' offices, clinics, nursing homes, etc.).

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that its most recent data on workplace violence is from 2017; that year, there were 8.5 injuries per 10,000 full-time hospital workers, compared to 1.7 injuries per 100,000 workers in all private industry.

Hospitals around the nation are trying to cope with an epidemic of violence against employees. In May, two Chicago-area nurses were taken hostage after a jail inmate receiving treatment seized the weapon of a corrections officer guarding him. According to reports, the inmate sexually assaulted one of the nurses before he was shot to death by police.

In early summer, a New York doctor at a hospital shot to death another physician and injured several other people before taking his own life.

Two years ago at a Boston hospital, a man shot to death the surgeon who had operated on his mother.

"Just going into work is a high-risk endeavor," said the director at the Institute for Emergency Nursing Research at the Emergency Nurses Association.

A skilled North Carolina workers' compensation attorney can help nurses and others get deserved benefits and compensation for workplace violence injuries. Contact the Charlotte office of Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler for more information.


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