Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 17, 2019 – Workplace accidents do not always take place on construction sites. They also happen in hospitals and other medical facilities.
It is a reality that not a lot of people are familiar with, nurses frequently experience workplace injuries. While working in a hospital setting, nurses often endure kicking, spitting, shoving and verbal abuse. Unfortunately, this is the daily reality for many nurses across the United States and Texas — roughly half of the RNs that report for duty have faced physical violence during their careers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers in residential care and nursing facilities had the highest rate of occupational injuries of any industry in 2017, making abuse almost part of the job description. In fact, a Texas Health services study from 2016 reveals 12 percent of Texas nurses experienced physical violence, nearly 50 percent were verbally abused and 6 percent were sexually harassed. Patients account for about half the violent incidents, according to the same study.
It seems that those who work in the trenches are well aware of the dangers the nursing profession holds in store for them, but this very real and concerning issue has only recently begun to appear on lawmaker’s radar.
“Since nurses work to keep patients alive and are paid for that knowledge, it would behoove lawmakers to take a good look at drafting legislation that could help them and hopefully make hospital workplaces safer,” said Austin workplace injury lawyer, Brooks Schuelke. There have been increased penalties placed on patients who assault ER personnel and instead of facing a misdemeanor charge assaulting staff can now result in felony charges.
Recently under consideration by the Texas Legislature is legislation requiring all health care facilities to provide workplace violence training and to also set up a system for reporting and investigating such incidents. “Despite what some medical personnel think and feel, verbal, physical and mental abuse is not just a part of the job of working in a hospital or other medical care setting,” Schuelke added “and it’s time we did something about it.”
On a national level, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act was recently introduced in Congress, requiring hospitals to have plans in place to prevent violence and have specific measures, like alarm systems and exit routes for nurses being attacked.
Not sure what legal rights are applicable in situation such as this? Contact an experienced Austin personal injury attorney who can address personal injury issues, other factors and alternatives that may be available.
Schuelke Law PLLC
3011 N. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78705
Call (512) 476-4944