By Scott Cormier
Workplace violence, including physical assaults and threats of assault directed toward persons at work or on duty, is a growing issue within the healthcare setting. In fact, according to OSHA, 75 percent of nearly 25,000 workplace assaults reported annually occurred in healthcare and social service settings. Moreover, from 2002 to 2013, incidents of serious workplace violence were four times more common in healthcare than any other industry. These incidents of workplace violence against healthcare workers can occur on varying levels – from bullying to deadly assault – further supporting that it’s imperative healthcare organizations identify triggers for such incidents, so they can better protect their workforce.
Many operate under the common belief that majority of violence occurs between co-workers. However, statistics show that 80 percent of incidents stem from patients. These incidents are grossly underreported as well.
And while countless patients and family members tend to be in distress when at the hospital, causing heightened emotions and reactions, there are several other factors that contribute to workplace violence in healthcare – including the rising misuse of opioids.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and many others.[Read more…] about Opioids and workplace violence in healthcare: Is there a correlation?