May 11, 2022
Physicians and their care teams deserve a support system that helps prevent these incidents and protects them when they occur. Imagine dedicating your professional life to helping people only to be assaulted by the patients who need your help the most.
Emergency physicians are all too familiar with these dangerous scenarios. In fact, nearly half of emergency physicians have been attacked on the job, according to a poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Nearly 7 in 10 of the emergency physicians polled said that ED violence had increased over the previous 5 years -- and that was before the pandemic. Today, the threats are greater as high stress levels and societal tensions exacerbate many of the factors that contribute to violent incidents.
But statistics only tell part of the story.
The full impact of violence against healthcare workers is understated because so many incidents are never reported. The reality is that hospitals are challenged to accurately track physical or verbal attacks, and many healthcare workers decline to report them, whether that's because they fear retaliation, or they believe the exercise is futile since there's a strong likelihood that nobody will ever be held accountable.
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