As laboratory workers, we are often geographically removed from the hospital environment. We don't think of ourselves as in danger from violence in the workplace.
Workplace violence is a real safety hazard in a hospital. While those of us with a diminished or lack of patient- and family contact feel safe, those who are on the front lines often feel threatened.
Laboratory workers who are called upon to serve as phlebotomists and coordinate point of care should be aware of the dangers that may present as workplace violence.
Having family members who work in the emergency department has opened my eyes. It is frightening how often weapons are brandished and security is called to take down an unruly patient.
I recently attended a safety fair at the hospital where I work part time. A presentation at the safety fair was on how to respond to and help with a "Code Green" (unruly patient).
Drugs and alcohol are the elements that, at times, play a role in this violence. "Chemically-induced" violence is readily recognized, may be reversed and often leaves the offenders remorseful.
It is violence induced from other, vaguer causes that surprise healthcare workers and leave a trail of havoc and injuries behind. In this downloadable feature, learn who might be the violent offenders and how we might protect ourselves and our fellow employees from workplace violence.