Domestic violence and abuse is a national and global healthcare problem with massive consequences, affecting men, women, and children. Awareness, recognition, and resource allocation, in addition to trauma management, is an important aspect of emergent care of the trauma patient possibly injured in a domestic violence incident.
Experiences of sexual harassment and assault are unfortunate realities for many adolescents and young adults. Many youth-serving health professionals have begun to ask how they can contribute to addressing or even preventing sexual harassment and assault in their patients’ lives.
In addition to the advertising fraud that led to a $16 million verdict against Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, AL, the physical interaction by the nurse is troubling, says Kathleen Juniper, JD, an attorney with the law firm of Buchalter Nemer in Los Angeles.
With the aging population, home healthcare is rapidly expanding — but worker protections must expand as well to protect employees who may be vulnerable to violence. A recent citation by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration underscores this point, as a company that provides pediatric home health was issued a willful citation and fined $98,000 following the sexual assault of a healthcare worker.
A patient, family member, or visitor who may be becoming violent might exhibit physical signs, according to Michael S. D’Angelo, CPP, CHPA, director of security at South Miami (FL) Hospital, who developed a program titled “Healthcare Workplace Safety: Recognizing and Responding to Aggressive Behavior.”
Richard Sem, CPP CSC, president of Burlington, WI-based Sem Security Management, has performed security and violence management assessments at dozens of hospitals and clinics. Thirteen of the assessments were done after “active shooter” incidents occurred.
This article explores questions around physician firearm safety counseling — including why emergency physicians might do it, who might benefit, where and when to consider it, and what such counseling should include (along with what resources exist for emergency physicians and for patients).