New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Minnesota saw a massive increase in the number of healthcare workers who missed time away from work as a result of an injury caused by patients.
The most recent data from 2020 shows that there were about 280 assaults and attacks on healthcare workers that forced the employee to miss some time away from work with their injuries. That number represents a more than three-fold increase from 2019, when there were 90 such incidents. But what’s driving this massive increase?
According to experts, a number of different factors are at play, including politically driven distrust over the healthcare system’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are more patients seeking care despite frustration or distrust of the healthcare system, which can have them on edge during their visit, but stress from the pandemic is causing more healthcare workers to leave the industry, which can lead to longer wait times amid staff shortages, further fueling patient dissatisfaction. There’s also a growing number of patients with mental and substance abuse disorders that are seeking care at emergency departments due to capacity limits at inpatient treatment facilities, and these patients can be more prone to outbursts and assaults.
Workplace Violence In Hospitals
Workplace violence against healthcare workers is a massive problem that oftentimes goes underreported. According to a survey of 950 nurses from the Minnesota Nurses Association, 75 percent stated they observed or experienced physical violence over the past two years. Moreover, almost half who encountered the violence didn’t report it because they were busy with a patient or thought their report would fall on deaf ears.
“The amount of workplace violence that our profession is experiencing now is unacceptable,” said Mary Turner, MNA president, at a recent union rally. “And it is driving our nurses away from the bedside.”
Not surprisingly, this increase in workplace violence against healthcare workers has also led to an increase in injury claims. Workers’ compensation claims from workers who suffered disabling injuries from assaults jumped to 236 in 2021, up 25 percent from 2018. Security officers working in a healthcare facility saw the biggest increase in these injury claims, as they made 77 claims in 2021 after only filing 33 claims in 2018.
If you are working in a healthcare setting and feel like your pleas may fall on deaf ears, know that you have an ally in a personal injury lawyer like Dean Margolis. If you have been injured by a patient and forced to miss time from work or you incurred medical expenses as a result, you need to know that you have compensation options. We’ve helped many healthcare workers get the compensation they deserve as a result of being victimized by workplace violence, and we want to provide the same service to you in the wake of an assault.
We’ve also helped healthcare workers get injury compensation for other types of on-the-job injuries. From slip and fall accidents to injuries suffered while moving or transferring patients, we’re here to protect our frontline workers. For more information, or to learn more about whether or not you have a valid injury claim, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today at (952) 230-2700.