Why Violence in Hospitals is Increasing
Violence is not a concept that people usually associate with hospitals. For years, hospitals have been seen as almost a sanctuary of care for the sick and wounded in our society. However, the perception of hospitals has been changing over the last fifteen years due to a variety of factors.
- Doctors are no longer thought of as “Gods”. This means they are
are more easily blamed when a patient’s condition deteriorates.
- Hospitals are now regarded as businesses. This perception has been
been aggravated by television in shows like a recent “60 Minutes”, as well as
by the effects of the recession on jobs and the loss of health insurance.
- Lack of respect and resources (funding) for hospital security departments
Rather than being seen as a crucial protection for the hospital staff and
patients, many security departments are chronically underfunded and used
for a variety of non- security functions, such as making bank deposits for
the hospital gift shop.
- ASIS Security Association issued it’s industry guidelines for Workplace
Violence Prevention in September 2011, in conjunction with the SHRM – the
Society for Human Resources Management to address this issue.
The federal government issued a guidance document for dealing with violence issues in healthcare, OSHA 3148.01R, 2004, Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers.