Healthcare is a physically demanding job. Nurses spend hours on their feet. Many work in high intensity environments and must engage in consistent physical labor. Nurses may face exposure to sickness and often find themselves suffering from chronic pain, but those are not the only dangers that healthcare workers face.
Nursing is one of the highest risk professions for workplace violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in 2017, 18,400 workers experience nonfatal workplace violence. Of these people, 71% were in the healthcare and social assistance industry.
In one year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that 21% of registered nurses and nursing students reported a physical assault. The most common injuries in healthcare involving patients that result in workers having to take time off work involve:
- Hitting, kicking, beating, pushing
- Unintentional injury from moving a patient
- Unknown intent injury from another person
- Injury while restraining or subduing a patient
- Intentional, unclassified injury from another person
Reports tell us that psychiatric aides experience the highest rates of violence from patients that results in lost time from work. These workers experience ten times as many injuries from workplace violence as the next most common position, the nursing aide.
While some injuries from workplace violence subside after a short period of recovery, many also have lasting effects. They can mount on top of existing pain and strain often resulting in daily work as a nurse. Injuries to the head can leave nurses with years of concussion or spinal injury symptoms.