Workplace Violence: Protecting Healthcare Workers
June 29, 2021
Over the past year, the safety of healthcare providers has received more public attention than ever before. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – and particularly in the early days – the public learned about the vital role of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other important processes that keep healthcare workers safe and healthy. However, people may be surprised to learn that germs and viruses are just one of the many risks that healthcare professionals face every day.
Many people are fortunate enough not to have to worry for their physical and mental wellbeing when they go to work. Unfortunately, this is not the case for countless healthcare workers across the nation, for whom workplace violence is a daily concern. According to the American Hospital Association, healthcare workers are four times more likely to experience serious workplace violence as people in other industries. This is particularly troubling knowing that healthcare workers have dedicated their careers to serving others, putting their communities first day in and day out.
Responding to the Challenge of Workplace Violence
At Renown, we have no tolerance for abuse against our employees. As an organization, we have several systems in place to support and protect our staff. During staff orientation, we provide classes to prepare employees to prevent and de-escalate verbal or physical abuse. We also offer ongoing education to train our staff to respond to violent situations. If an incident does occur, our violence prevention task force reviews incidents and ensures the impacted employees receive resources and counseling to help them process what has occurred.
As a leader, I am continually impressed by our team’s desire and ability to support one another. However, I know that it is my responsibility to protect our team. No one should have to face harassment or abuse – in any form – in their workplace, and I think about the risks our employees face every day. I believe so much in this cause that I volunteer on the American Hospital Association’s Hospitals Against Violence steering committee, which works to understand the causes behind violence against healthcare workers and develops tools and processes to prevent these incidents from occurring.