There are certain professions that are inherently more dangerous than others. Certainly, any profession that involves dealing with the public can lead to dangerous altercations. The medical field can even be dangerous because patients -- or even those visiting them -- can become unstable, angry or even violent. Two recent incidents in California show just how easy it may be for nurses to be hurt, as two different nurses both suffered an injury on the job.
The first incident happened around 2 a.m. on a Sunday. A 26-year-old man ran through a weapon screening area of a medical center. He stabbed a nurse in the torso. That nurse was listed as critically injured.
The second incident occurred as a nurse was grabbed from behind. A 38-year-old stabbed the nurse in the ear. The nurse was treated for non-life threatening injuries, and the weapon was believed to be a pencil. Both incidents happened on the same day at UCLA medical centers in two different locations.
The incidents have spawned legislative attention. A proposed law would require hospitals to report violent incidents to Cal/OSHA and also require that hospitals train workers concerning workplace violence. While the training would address potential incidents in the future, the two nurses who suffered an injury on the job are protected from the costs and financial ramifications of being the victims of violence in the workplace. In California, workers' compensation laws provide insurance coverage for medical expenses and also offer a lost income package so that an injured worker can focus on their recovery, instead of worrying about the costs associated with an injury suffered on-the-job.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Nurse Stabbings Spur Calls for Workplace Violence Prevention", Vikki Vargas and Willian Avila, April 21, 2014