Three Sad Healthcare Stories

First, I think this is a very disappointing article about workplace violence in the healthcare industry.  I certainly could believe (unfortunately) in the verbal violence since people are very emotional about their healthcare and often stressed over the financial implications and unintuitive processes.  But, this story has some scary statistics which are an issue at a time when we need more healthcare service workers.  [Ask your friends in the industry.  I plan to.]

  • Health care workers are 16 times more like to face violence at their job that workers in any other service-oriented profession.
  • More than 50 percent of reports of aggression in the workplace come from the health care sector.
  • Over 9,000 nurses and other health care workers are verbally or physically assaulted on the job every day, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
  • A 5-year survey of 170 university hospitals showed that over half of all emergency room employees had been threatened by weapons.
  • Almost 90 percent of nurses in every specialty said they were verbally assaulted during the past year and almost 75 percent claimed they were physically attacked, according to a study published in The Journal of Emergency Nursing, which related reports of 100 percent verbal and 80 percent physical assault rates for emergency room nurses.
  • Almost half of all psychiatric physician residents reported an assault during their career and other medical residents in the hospital setting reported a 16 percent assault incidence.

The second article which I read which I think is also sad is about the rise in seniors filing bankruptcy. Sometimes, seniors don’t even have enough resources to install stairlifts in their homes. Not only is it disappointing to see people reach retirement only to have their dreams dashed away from them with crashing house prices, rising food prices, rising gas prices, and lower return on their investments, but they are facing huge healthcare costs that are pushing them over the brink.  22.3% of the bankruptcy filings in 2007 were from seniors.  We also know that even without filing this stress can get people to skip medications or not take care of themselves only worsening their health.

The third story which I saw on CNN this morning was about a group of high school girls making a pregnancy pact.  Talk about a need for sex education and health literacy.  It’s one thing to happen by accident and quite another to intentionally put yourself in that challenging situation of getting a high school diploma and raising a child.

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