Health care workers in hospitals play an important role in saving lives, however they at times they are subjected to workplace violence. Workplace violence can occur in any workplace setting, however, some settings or factors may pose a greater degree of workplace violence risk for instance high number of patients especially during specific time such as weekend when there are few staff who get overwhelmed thus affecting the hospital image in the eyes of the general public.
Some patients perceive the hospital as inefficient, others think the hospital doesn’t care about them. This leads to increased frustrations among the patients who become angry and some resort to violence to express their disappointment in the hospital staff. Cases of violence from fellow employees, cases of sexual harassment by patients against female nurses particularly when intoxicated are also common. Research has shown that patients are the primary perpetrators of nonfatal violence against health care workers, followed by the patient’s relatives, visitors and fellow workers at the health facility.
It is important to appreciate that nurses form part of first responders in the event of fire in the hospital. Basic knowledge on the use of firefighting equipment by nurses is very critical in the fire emergency management. Raising awareness on workplace harassment and violence perpetrated by both internal and third party and further development of a framework of response to identify, prevent and manage problems of harassment and all forms of violence should be a priority for any hospital management. FEDAN offers solutions to some fo the safety and security specific to health care sector:
a. Anti-Workplace Violence Awareness Training.
b. Fire Safety Training.
c. Inspection, Servicing and refilling of fire extinguishers.
d. Supply of portable fire extinguishers.
e. Supply, installation and commissioning of fire suppression system.
f. Installation of fire alarm system.
g. Conduct Emergency Drills.
h. Disaster and Emergency Training.
i. Counter-terrorism Awareness Training.
j. Security Survey, Evaluation and Risk Analysis.
k. Physical Security Design based on the threat – Design Basis Threat (DBT).