Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, CDC, Nursing, Occupational Health / 28.04.2015 Interview with: Ahmed Gomaa, MD, ScD, MSPH Medical Officer / Surveillance Branch Division of Surveillance Hazard Evaluation and Health Studies National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Gomaa:  In 2013, one in five reported nonfatal occupational injuries occurred among workers in the health care and social assistance industry, the highest number of such injuries reported for all private industries. In 2011, U.S. health care personnel experienced seven times the national rate of musculoskeletal disorders compared with all other private sector workers. To reduce the number of preventable injuries among health care personnel, CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), with collaborating partners, created the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) to collect detailed injury data to help target prevention efforts. OHSN, a free, voluntary surveillance system for health care facilities, enables prompt and secure tracking of occupational injuries by type, occupation, location, and risk factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Nursing / 09.02.2015

Erin L. Kelly PhD Post Doctoral Scholar Health Services Research Center University of California, Los Angeles, Interview with: Erin L. Kelly PhD Post Doctoral Scholar Health Services Research Center University of California, Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kelly: Mental health facilities can be hazardous workplaces. Nationally, compared to their counterparts in other healthcare settings, mental health workers are at the highest risk for patient assaults. Many studies have focused on predictors for assault such as gender, years of experience, or the position that staff hold in the hospital, which can account for a small amount of violence. However, psychiatric care is largely about relationships. Our study examined how conflicts with patients and coworkers, and how people react to conflict, influences their risk of assault. In our study, 70% of staff at a large public mental hospital were assaulted in a single year, which is closer to the lifetime assault rate for mental health workers. We also found that the likelihood of assault is predicted by conflicts when we also include stress reactions to conflict as a moderator. We found that workers who reported being less reactive to conflict but experienced a great deal of conflict, with staff or patients, were at the highest risk of assault. This could mean that people who aren't afraid of conflict with patients are more likely to jump in with agitated patients or that people who are insensitive to conflict are missing important social cues and being assaulted more often. However, despite the similarity in the relationships of staff conflict and patient conflict with assault risk, it’s possible that the direction of the relationship between staff conflict and assault may be different. For example, mental health staff who have a lot of conflict with their co-workers may be isolated and therefore a target for assault by patients. (more…)