Frontline workers over at a certain Missouri hospital are now being provided with different personal panic buttons after the number of assaults directly against employees has recently tripled, according to officials. Between about 300 and 400 staff working in the emergency department and inpatient hospital rooms over at the Cox Medical Center located in Branson will be wearing the buttons on their badges, according to the hospital.
'Spike' in Assaults Against Employees
A story by 6abc notes that if the workers are in distress, they can then push the button, which alerts the security on hospital computers showing the exact location of the employees. The distress calls will also be displayed in the hospital's very own nurse call system.
The safety button system is now set to be implemented by the end of 2021 and comes due to the "spike" when it comes to assaults against employees, as noted by the hospital. Between the years 2019 and 2020, Cox Medical Center has been able to see total violent events increase from a massive 94 to 162.
Violence from Patients and Visitors
The total assaults increased from 40 up to 123, and the total injuries have jumped from 17 up to 79. The assaults that were leading to injury have ticked up from a smaller 42.5% up to 63%, as seen on the hospital data. As of the moment, a 3D vaccine patch is being developed to help cater to those that might be scared of needles and more.
A number of the assaults actually come from patients, as said by the hospital, but the staff has also seen a number of visitors become violent. Not all of the incidents are reported to the police as a number of staff sometimes might feel like it is still part of the job. Cox Branson Patient Safety Facilitator Angie Smith gave a statement.
New Law Makes Assault a Class D Misdemeanor
According to Smith, a number of workplace violence incidents are actually underreported due to staff not feeling like they would be able to do anything about the situation. A new law reportedly came into effect in Missouri in August 2021 makes it equivalent to a Class D misdemeanor to threaten healthcare workers.
Staff from the Cox Medical Center noted that they were grateful for the newly added security measure. Nurse Kimber Unruh gave a statement to ABC News in a video diary noting that they had quite a large number of cases of violence that have been reported when it came to the emergency department that has been continually going on over the last three to five years.
It was noted that staff has actually complained of being spit on, grabbed, held, along with a number of other things. It was noted that they are thankful to have the new option to help keep them safe. Nurse Whitney Gott stated to the ABC News in a video diary noted that the panic button helps get security to them faster when staff would feel threatened or unsafe in the particular environment.
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Written by Urian B.