Health care is an unquestionably noble profession. Unfortunately, those who work in this industry are not always treated with the respect and care that they deserve. It is, therefore, perhaps unsurprising that a recent survey reveals that a significant fraction of health care workers don’t feel safe when they are engaged in work-related activities.
Approximately 25% of the 400 medical professionals and 100 administrators surveyed and interviewed said they don’t feel safe generally when they’re on the job. More specifically, 63% reported concerns that they’ll be injured by patients at some point.
What is going on?
An additional survey question sheds a bright spotlight on one of the primary reasons – if not THE primary reason – why so many health care workers are concerned about their safety on the job. A staggering 98% of respondents indicate that inadequate staffing issues either influenced their feelings about workplace safety “very” much or “somewhat.”
Staffing has been an issue in the health care industry for a long time. But there is also no question that the problem has been exacerbated in recent years. Over the last two years alone, 100,000 registered nurses quit or retired from the profession and an additional 610,000 plan to leave within the next three years, according to the report.
While it is good for health care employees to know that they’re almost certainly covered by workers’ compensation if they suffer job-related harm, it’s ideal to avoid harm in the first place. There are too many workers who operate in fear while caring for others and too many leaving the profession partially due to that fear.
Until there are adequate protections in place both before injuries have a chance to occur and after harm does occur, inadequate staffing and fear will likely continue to plague health care facilities nationwide. It’s crucial to understand your right to seek workers’ compensation benefits.