Southern California Workers’ Compensation Blog

3 reasons hospital workers end up hurt due to violence

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Workers Compensation

Working in a hospital often means making personal sacrifices for the good of your community and other individuals. You work exhaustingly long shifts so that there are enough people on hand in the event of an emergency. You may even be on call sometimes on your days off in case someone else is too sick to work or gets hurt and needs to go home.

Injuries the hospital workers are quite common and violence is one of the top causes of serious job injuries among Hospital workers. Roughly 9% of all lost-time injuries in hospital settings result from violence. What are the most common sources of violence in a medical environment?

Drug and alcohol intoxication

If someone overdoses on a drug or drinks so much that they become incoherent, they will likely end up at the hospital. Those who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, especially those who believe they may face criminal charges for their impairment, may lash out at staff members while there.

Sometimes, an individual has an adverse reaction to a drug, including medication administered by a doctor, that may result in aggressive or violent behavior.


Maybe someone who tried to rob a corner store got shot or punched in the face during their attempted robbery. Police officers may bring injured suspects to the hospital for treatment before taking them to the police station for processing.

It is also possible that someone living in state custody may end up sick enough to require outside medical care. Inmates receiving care at a medical facility might attack workers either in a hope of escaping or simply because they cannot help themselves from reoffending.

Mental health issues and dementia

Hospital workers often have to deal with those experiencing a mental health crisis. Both adults of the prime of their life experiencing a psychotic episode and older adults dealing with dementia symptoms may become violent and unpredictable in a medical setting.

Nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals have an obligation to treat those in need, even if they are dangerous criminals or or drug addicts. While you may accept that risk as part of your employment, you shouldn’t have to accept lasting consequences if a patient does become violent toward you.

Claiming workers’ compensation benefits is an option for those affected by workplace violence just like it is an option for those hurt by defective equipment or unsafe facilities.