A University of Iowa researcher says health care workers nationwide are assaulted every day, particularly in emergency rooms and psychiatric facilities. A U-of-I study of workplace violence in health care settings is now underway. Dr. Corinne Peek-Asa, a U-of-I professor of occupational and environmental health, is heading up the research.Dr. Peek-Asa has won a one-point-two million dollar grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for this study. She says every year, 900-thousand medical workers report being victims of violence at work with 26-hundred cases resulting in serious injury. Peek-Asa says U-of-I researchers will be looking into violence-reduction programs that have been implemented at various facilities nationwide. She says they’re going into hospitals and talking to everyone about how well the plans work and whether the plans have helped decrease the violence. Peek-Asa says most violence against hospital workers is committed by patients, but upset family members also lash out verbally and physically at staff. She says common risk factors for hospital violence include: working with potentially volatile people, working alone or in understaffed conditions, inadequate security or lighting, and a lack of staff training and policies for managing the work environment.
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