Few people would disagree that nurses have a difficult job. However, what people may not realize is the fact that the job can also be quite dangerous. Recent events have prompted California nurses to speak out about being injured while working and about the need for better safety standards and training.

The dangers of the job do not only come from expected sources, such as slipping on a floor. Patients, and even hospital visitors, can also be dangerous to nurses if they become violent. State legislators are working toward passing a law that would require the California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to establish and maintain standards for the security and safety of nurses, doctors and other hospital staff.

Currently, most hospitals have plans in place for high-risk areas in hospitals and emergency rooms. Many, however, believe these plans should extend throughout the hospital, including the parking lot, since violence can take place anywhere on hospital grounds. This is evidenced by three recent violent acts against nurses — one was shot and two were stabbed.

The reality is that violence can — and sometimes does — occur in any part of a medical facility at any time. Increased security and more adequate safety training could help keep everyone safe. It is an unfortunate fact, however, that even with improved procedures and policies, there is no guarantee that an act of violence will never occur. When a nurse or other hospital staff is injured while working, he or she is likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include the payment of medical expenses related to their injury and a compensation package for wages lost during recovery.

Source: CBS Sacramento, “Nurses Rally At Capitol For Stronger Safety Standards, Training At Hospitals“, Ron Jones, April 24, 2014