Healthcare workers in general, and ED staff in particular, face a huge risk of violence, according to a blog on the Medpage Today website.
In 2004, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that healthcare and social service workers account for nearly half (48 percent) of all nonfatal injuries reported in the U.S. from workplace violence and assaults.
ICN noted in 2009 that healthcare workers are more likely to be attacked at work than prison guards and police officers and an ED nurse is considered the second most dangerous U.S. civilian occupation, behind New York City cab driver.
OSHA has specific recommendations for hospitals and healthcare settings, including engineering controls, personal protective equipment, as well as training for violence prevention, stress management, early recognition, and post-incident procedures.
Metal detectors have shown promise, but administrators remain wary about how these detectors will be perceived, and many EDs may not have the layout or security staff to implement metal detectors at each entrance, the article said.