Hospital Workplace Violence Up More Than 14% in New Jersey
The rate of physical attacks on New Jersey healthcare workers increased 11% over the past three years, while verbal abuse rose by 25%.
Over the past three years, workplace violence against hospital workers in New Jersey increased 14.6%, according to data from the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Center for Health Analytics, Research and Transformation.
In 2019, there were 8,691 incidents, in 2020 there were 9,202 incidents, and last year there were 9,962 incidents, reports WHYY. That averaged out to 27 healthcare workers being physically or verbally attacked every day in 2021.
The rate of physical attacks increased 11% over the past three years, with more than half of the incidents involving physical abuse. Verbal abuse rose by 25%, accounting for 44% of attacks.
Most of the workplace violence incidents happened in emergency rooms, and patients were most often the perpetrators. Co-workers were the second most likely to be perpetrators, while the families of patients were the third most likely to act out.
Although it’s not clear how or if the pandemic caused the increase in workplace violence, there were anecdotal reports that the stress over COVID-19 and mandates fueled the attacks against healthcare workers.
The results of this latest report on workplace violence in healthcare appear to echo findings from other studies on the topic.
A report released in April by National Nurses United said 48% of hospital nurses reported a small or significant increase in workplace violence, which is a 57% increase from September 2021 and 119% increase from March 2021.
A crime survey conducted by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety earlier this year found that the rate of hospital violent crime, which includes murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults increased to a record 2.5 incidents per 100 beds in 2021, which was a 47% increase compared to 2020 when the rate of violent crime was 1.7 per 100 beds, which was also a record at the time.