Health care workers’ safety increasingly at risk

first_imgShannon Sathre was supposed to have the day off, but a staff shortage and the prospect of time-and-a-half pay lured her from her couch into the intensive care unit at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.Hours into that Dec. 20 overtime shift, one of Sathre’s patients lashed out, kicking the 49-year-old registered nurse multiple times in the chest, according to a Vancouver Police Department report. As other staff rushed into Room 5108 to help, the patient allegedly began swinging her arms and spitting at anyone who tried to restrain her.After the adrenaline wore off, Sathre realized how much pain she was in. Her chest was sore, the left side of her neck was tight and she developed a severe headache, according to the police report. Still, 45 minutes after the incident, Sathre returned to the room to continue caring for the 47-year-old woman who allegedly attacked her, according to the report.That violent encounter wasn’t the first for Sathre, who has been a nurse for more than 20 years, and it wasn’t the only workplace violence incident at the hospital last year. Sathre’s incident was one of 147 incidents reported to PeaceHealth Southwest administrators in 2017.Workplace violence isn’t unique to PeaceHealth Southwest; Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center recorded 91 incidents last year. And, at both hospitals, those only account for the incidents reported by staff. Hospital officials suspect the number of actual incidents of violence is greater.last_img

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