The Way We Have Been Treating Healthcare Staff In New Jersey Is Unacceptable
These numbers are sobering and beyond disappointing.
I am not sure what the solution to this problem is but something has to happen fast.
According to NJ.com, there has been a severe spike in abusive behavior towards hospital employees in the last year.
"Nurses, doctors and other hospital employees in New Jersey were physically assaulted or verbally abused nearly 10,000 times last year, a 15% increase in reported incidents since 2019," starts the piece on NJ.com.
Let's look at the numbers according to NJ.com:
2019 - 8,691 verbal & physical incidents
2020 - 9,202 verbal & physical incidents
2021 - 9,962 verbal & physical incidents
I am sad that these numbers only continue to increase.
Here is who is committing the violent acts:
7% patients' relatives
The coworkers portion is what surprises me most.
According to NJ.com, incidents most commonly take place in, "the emergency department, a mental health unit, patient room and the intensive care unit."
I keep asking myself what would spark an increase like this.
We already know that being in a hospital automatically rises people's stress levels. It makes sense because 8/10 times, you are not in a hospital for a good reason.
Plus, chaos has ensued ever since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The social justice climate is deplorable right now and no one can afford anything let alone an expensive hospital bill.
Times are tough. People are stressed. Everyone is beyond tense.
But to be violent towards the doctors, surgeons and nurses that are trying to HELP you doesn't make sense to me.
Cathy Bennett, the president and CEO of the Hospital Association, gave a pretty good, all-encompassing explanation according to NJ.com:
“The terrible irony is that those who dedicate their lives to healing others are the targets of increasing violence and aggression. we can only speculate on why these incidents are rising and the degree to which the tensions of the pandemic and our polarized society are part of it. Our goal with this report is to provide reliable data on the depth of the problem and prompt a much-needed public dialogue on our collective responsibilities to keep New Jersey healthcare workers safe.”
The public's mental health has been struggling so much in the last two years. We haven't had a chance to catch our breathe.
But there is absolutely no excuse for these numbers.
I do understand that a portion of these instances may be from those struggling psychiatrically or maybe someone lost their cool after receiving bad news.
But everyone deserves the right to feel safe in their workplace.
It only adds insult to injury that our healthcare professionals are the target.
Doctors work in a career that serves the public. That does not mean they are required to put up with your abuse.
Appreciate the people working around the clock to save lives and keep people healthy.
Keep this up and our healthcare professionals might give up on us.
Who would work tirelessly to help those who are hurting them?
Do we need more security set up at hospitals?
Should healthcare staff be given self-defense classes?
Is there a solution that I am not thinking of?
Email me at Nicole.Murray@townsquaremedia.com because I would love to hear your thoughts.