Workplace Safety Stats Matter for Home Healthcare Workers
Violence in the workplace is a hazard that is not always fully recognized or given its due attention in the healthcare industry. Workplace violence is a threat of or any act of intimidation, harassment, physical violence or any other disruptive behavior that is threatening and occurs in the workplace. This can involve and affect clients, workers, visitors and customers. Workplace violence can range from verbal abuse and threats to physical assault and even homicide. Workers in home healthcare services spend their days and nights helping others who are cognitively impaired, physically challenged or chronically ill. Thus, it makes sense that they spend most of their time with just a single individual and any other guests that may visit. This, of course, can place them at greater risk of encountering threatening situations, resulting in their need for lone worker protection.
The risk does not necessarily stem from the most likely of situations, or even from whom a home health aide might think to be cautious. For instance, home healthcare workers often face a risk of physical or verbal assault not necessarily from the patients they are taking care of, but from their patients’ family members and personal visitors, or even the general public at large that they sometimes come into contact with on their way from their vehicle to their patient's home. An assailant may sometimes be triggered to act on the impression that home health nurses carry prescription drugs, or may come to notice that such workers have definite routines and see them as easy targets for acts of robbery or even worse.
Sadly, there are quite a large number of reported instances of violence against home healthcare workers that support these statements. In fact, according to The American Nurse, every year, 500,000 nurses from all types of healthcare jobs are victims of violence. For instance, in January 2012, a serious case occurred involving five men kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 53-year-old nurse who was preparing to visit her patient. Another instance in 2012 in Florida involved a 25-year-old home healthcare nurse being fatally stabbed by her mentally unstable patient. Unfortunately, these are just two of countless examples of violent incidents in home healthcare. As a result, fear has grown for the safety of healthcare nurses nationwide and across the globe, as it clearly pointed out one of their greatest fears: that such type of crime could happen to anyone and anywhere. That is why is important to apply solutions to combat these workplace safety issues. Taking care to put a proactive worker safety plan in place can play a big role in mitigating situations such as this one.
Home healthcare workers, who are inherently prone to putting others first, often times may ignore or postpone care for themselves whenever they experience health-related issues or are injured themselves, similar to a mother/caregiver who finds herself often at the bottom of her priority list, if on the list at all. This is simply a byproduct of being a natural caregiver. It is, therefore, advisable to have lone worker alerts that can help in getting assistance in such situations. Employee monitoring is an advisable workplace safety best practice to ensure assistance for employees whenever they need help. Soloprotect offers a solution to employers to do exactly that. It pairs a discreet, wearable and easy-to-use device with response from its own highly trained and certified Emergency dispatch center, open 24/7/365, to deliver safety solutions to employers and to provide employees the protection that they deserve. To learn more, visit www.soloprotect.com/us.