Mon, August 1st, 2011 - 3:30 am - By Gordon Basichis
The News Tribune in the Seattle area just reported that the most violent job in the metropolitan district is not a police officer or fireman. No, cops and fireman are relatively safe compared to what is really the most violent job in the city. A nurse’s aid. That’s right. A nurse’s aid.
According to the article….”
Seattle public radio station KUOW-FM made that finding as part of an investigative series on workplace safety airing this week. The station found that violence strikes health care workers in Washington at six times the state average for all workplaces, and frontline caregivers in emergency rooms and psychiatric wards get assaulted even more than that.
The single most violent workplace in the state is Western State Hospital, where criminal defendants are taken when they are found incompetent to stand trial. Workers at psychiatric hospitals are assaulted on the job more often than anybody else — 60 times more than the average worker in Washington state.”
That is truly remarkable. As I recently did an interview segment with Donna El-Armale, a professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and as the co-founder of an employment screening concern, I try to stay current on all workplace violence issues. But this is really nuts. At the Washington State Hospital there were more than three hundred assaults last year. Causes one to think that maybe a Taser should be standard issue.
Apparently, when patients can’t get the services they need they snap out and act violently. The objects of their frustration are the nurse’s aides. While metal gates may prevent some of the violence, three hundred incidents of assault can hardly make one sanguine. A shame. Since most nurse’s aides and healthcare personnel enter the industry to help people, it’s a shame they have to be so abused.