Working in Healthcare Is the Nation's Most Violent Field

With gun violence increasing in the United States, medical centers have become vulnerable targets.

Recent data has found that healthcare is one the nation's most violent fields, with healthcare workers suffering from nonfatal injuries more than any other profession.

Last year, two Dallas hospital workers were killed, and in May, a man killed one woman and wounded four in an Atlanta medical center. In early July, a Tennessee surgeon was shot in an exam room. And the list goes on.

Healthcare workers don’t even think about that when they decide they want to be a nurse or a doctor. But as far as actual violence goes, statistically, health care is four or five times more dangerous than any other profession.

- Michael D'Angelo, a security consultant in Florida

How can medical centers be more safe?

So far, 40 states have passed laws or increased penalties for those who are violent toward healthcare employees. Many hospitals have implemented bag searches, metal detectors, and security with batons, stuns, or handguns.

Aggressive visitors in healthcare are also "grossly underreported," according to Eric Sean Clay, the president-elect of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety.

He told the Associated Press, "I think that a lot of it comes down to caregivers are just very tolerant, and they come to look at it as part of the job. If they're not injured, sometimes they don't want to report it, and sometimes they don't think there will be any change."

With U.S. hospital workers having a more dangerous and violent profession than law enforcement, actions must be taken in order to implement concrete change for safer medical centers.


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