If you’re like most people, you’d be surprised to find out that medical professionals, including nurses, doctors, even x-ray technicians and in-home care workers are more at risk for violent attacks than any other service profession. And yet, it’s true.

We, as a society in-general, expect that occupations like law enforcement, firefighting, military service, and others come with a certain level of danger as a part of the job. Every day, we see how even low-paying jobs like convenience store clerk, taxi-driver, and factory work expose those who have them to the possibility of attack.

But health care workers,

The answer, unfortunately, is yes – health care workers! In fact, according to the latest statistics…

… Health care professionals are 16 TIMES more likely to be attacked on the job, than any other service professional.


Add the fact that 80% of actual incidents go unreported, and you see what amounts to nothing short of an emergency situation. No pun intended.

Workplace violence consultants,

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the medical community is waking up to this catastrophic problem. In fact, leaders in the profession, especially those who have been sensitive to the problem all, are now seeing that they can’t act on the same information being used in other professions – information routinely offered by conventional workplace violence consultants.

Workplace Violence in the Medical Sector,

This is evidenced by the Conference on Workplace Violence in the Medical Sector, and other such events taking place around the world.

As I’ve talked about before, and routinely tell my clients, the health care industry is not just different in some ways than the rest of the working world. It’s in a league of its own!

The sooner administrators and service providers understand that…

  • The typical assailant who attacks a medical professional does not fit the standard profile used to identify potential threats
  • The medical professional is least likely to be attacked by a fellow employee, and…
  • Health care workers need different self-defense training than other employees because… …they must defend themselves while providing care to their attacker!

It’s time for the medical community, especially those charged with the care, training, and education of those in direct contact with the public, to recognize the need for first-hand self-defense training. More than just recognizing a need, they must take action to provide this training if we are to see a difference.

Because, the health care field also needs to understand that, regardless of the effect that we have on the overall crime rate, workers will always be at risk as long as their attackers are responding out of grief, pain, or the interaction of medications – very different reasons than the typical violent employee or workplace invader.

Workplace violence training,

Copyright 2008 by Jeffrey M. Miller. All rights reserved. This article may be used as-is, as long as all links remain active and no fee is charged.

Jeffrey M. Miller is the founder and president of Warrior Concepts International. For more information about what’s missing in most workplace violence plans and how to take action to protect your company and its employees, click on this link to find out how to add workplace violence training to your employee training program.


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