Increasing Protections for Health Care Workers

What You Need to Know:
Violence against health care workers continues to rise, with assaults against those in the profession reaching an all-time high in 2021, according to the most recent
survey from the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) Foundation. Studies show health care workers are five times more likely to be injured than other workers, and other research suggests a nurse is assaulted every 30 minutes on average.

This startling trend is causing experienced staff to leave the field, and it is deterring future workers from pursuing a health care career at a time when Colorado is projected to be short 10,000 nurses and 54,000 health care ancillary staff members by 2026. Should this projection prove to be accurate, Colorado will be among the five states with the worst shortages of registered nurses.

Unfortunately, the aggression that health care workers endure takes many forms. Verbal assault, intimidation, and harassment is so common that it has created a perception that violence is “part of the job” for health care workers. This is deeply concerning for a workforce dedicated to creating an environment of comfort and healing for all patients.

Health care workers deserve a safe place to deliver care.

How Hospitals Are Addressing Violence:
The safety of their patients and staff is the highest priority for every Colorado hospital. All hospitals have violence prevention programs and are required to have worker training programs as a condition of their accreditation. Safety efforts underway include: