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Hospital Employee Health – October 1, 2019

October 1, 2019

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  • Nurse Suicides Finally Coming to Light

    Overcoming the historic dearth of data on a critical issue, the authors of a new study reported that nurses are at higher risk of suicide than the general population. Researchers reported that female nurse suicide rates in the United States were significantly higher than for women in general, with a rate of 11.9 per 100,000 nurses, compared to 7.5 suicides per 100,000 women in the population. Male nurse suicides are even higher, with a rate of 39.8 per 100,000, compared to 28.2 per 100,000 men in general.

  • Violence Prevention Begins With Culture of Respect

    When a surgeon was shot and killed by a patient at a nearby hospital in 2015, clinicians at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care in Worcester overhauled its comprehensive violence prevention program. The incident that shook the Boston area medical community was the murder of a popular and highly skilled surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital by a relative of a deceased patient.

  • Measles Woes Lead to Pushback Against Antivaxxers

    Measles resurgence coincides with parents citing unsafe vaccines in declining to have their children immunized. However, there is a growing pushback against the antivaccine movement, with herd immunity threatened and the real risk of measles to immunocompromised patients and those who cannot receive immunizations.

  • A Risk Management Look at Employee Trips and Falls

    Falls, slips, and trips were the second most common event leading to workplace injuries and illnesses in hospitals, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting for 25% of all reported employee injuries. Addressing fall prevention with employees is different than with patients. With patients, fall prevention focuses mostly on transfers from beds and wheelchairs, as well as environmental factors. Employee slips and falls tend to be the top workers’ compensation claim in both frequency and severity.

  • Griefwork: The Experience of Loss in Healthcare

    When a patient dies, healthcare workers may experience grief that they barely acknowledge because they know their role is to move on to the next patient. But over time, such grief can build up and contribute to stress and burnout. Healthcare organizations can help their staff cope with grief and prevent workplace burnout by ensuring policies acknowledge the emotional needs of staff.

  • Employee Health and Emerging Infections

    The CDC is stepping up efforts to fight Ebola in Africa, deploying more personnel and resources to stop an expanding yearlong outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared an international health emergency in the DRC after an Ebola case appeared July 14 in Goma, a city of 2 million people that has connecting flights to global air travel. As of Aug. 18, 2,888 Ebola cases were reported, including 1,938 deaths for a morality rate of 67%. Cases continue to be reported among health workers, with the number infected rising to 153.