Advocacy Issue: Workplace Violence

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers across the nation have experienced a sharp increase in incidences of workplace violence, with no sign that this trend is receding. Despite the diligent efforts of hospitals and health systems to prevent violence, health care workers remain five times more likely than any other type of worker to be physically attacked on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

AHA Position

Violence in the health care setting has implications beyond the injuries sustained by the dedicated men and women of our workforce. AHA’s member hospitals and health systems report that workplace violence and intimidation make it more difficult for clinical staff to provide quality patient care. Nurses and physicians cannot provide attentive care when they are afraid for their personal safety, distracted by disruptive patients or family members, or traumatized from prior attacks. In addition, violent attacks at health care facilities can delay urgently needed care for other patients, reduce employee productivity and increase the likelihood of adverse events.

Key Resources

Videos: Protecting Health Care Workers From Violence

Mark Boucot
 Aisha Terry
Kate FitzPatrick