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Part Of The Job? - Violence In The Health Care Workplace

Violence and harassment are often part of the job for health care workers, but it’s not always obvious to outsiders.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported in 2015 that “health care workers are at an increased risk for workplace violence.” They found that as of 2013, violent incidents were four times more common in health care workplaces, compared to private industry overall. And that’s only taking into account violence that was reported.

FM89 reporter Laura Tsutsui is working with the Center for Health Journalism on a series about those who work in the health care industry, and have been victims of violence or threats on the job. 

This reporting project hopes to bring stories about violence and harassment in healthcare to light, and ask healthcare administrators what is being done to mitigate and prevent the issue.

If you work in health care and have experienced violence or harassment on the job, e-mail us your story in a voice memo to talk@kvpr.org, or leave us a voicemail at 559-862-2714.

Ways to Connect

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

 

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at how those who work in health care are at increased risk of workplace violence. In the next installment of our series, Part of the Job, we see that although hospitals in the Valley have preventive measures in place, some are finding that it’s not until an incident happens that a facility knows what more to improve.  

 

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

  It’s probably obvious that hospitals can be high stress environments, and it’s not just patients who can get agitated and upset. Sometimes it’s also co-workers. Last week, we heard about how some see tolerating violence in health care as part of the job. In the latest installment in our series Part Of The Job, we look at how health care educators have been trying to change that culture of harassment and violence before their students reach the workforce.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Over the course of three months in 2017, over two thousand incidents of workplace violence in health care were reported in California. That comes out to about an incident happening at every facility every other week, or over twenty incidents across the state a day. Some experts would say that number is probably low, because they suspect the issue is underreported, for a variety of reasons.