Category Archives: Health Care

Nursing: One Of The Most Dangerous Jobs In America


Kicked, pummeled, taken hostage, stabbed and sexually assaulted … would you want a job that included these risks? In One of America’s Most Dangerous Jobs, the Washington Post’s Petula Dvorak shines a spotlight on the dangers in the nursing profession, specifically around the violence nurses encounter on the job. Citing a recent GAO report on violence in the healthcare profession, the article notes that, “the rates of workplace violence in health care and social assistance settings are five to 12 times higher than the estimated rates for workers overall.”

Here’s one excerpt from the article:

“In Massachusetts, Elise’s Law, which is named for the nurse who was attacked in June, is already on the fast track to set state standards for workplace protection. Legislators were working on this months before Wilson was stabbed.

Nurses in Massachusetts were attacked more frequently than police or prison guards. When association members testified about the violence epidemic this spring, they said nurses had been threatened with scissors, pencils or pens, knives, guns, medical equipment and furniture in the past two years alone, according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association.”

OSHA reports that in surveys conducted by various nursing and healthcare groups:

  • 21% of nurses and nursing students reported being physically assaulted and over 50% verbally abused in a 12-month period
  • 12% of emergency department nurses experienced physical violence and 59% experienced verbal abuse during a seven-day period
  • 13% of employees in Veterans Health Administration hospitals reported being assaulted in a year

New Jersey is one of 26 states that have safety standards aimed at combating violence in health care facilities. The “Violence Prevention in Health Care Facilities Act,” enacted in 2008, lays out detailed requirements for hospitals (including psychiatric hospitals) and nursing homes. However, with more than 2,000 hospitals, nursing homes and health care facilities in New Jersey, there is ample opportunity for workplace violence to occur.

Notwithstanding the Act, at Workers Compensation Psychological Network, our clinicians are asked  to treat healthcare workers who are victims of workplace violence or abuse. The mental health complications of these injuries can leave lasting damage, which, if untreated, will only worsen over time. We advise claims adjusters and nurse case managers to pay particular attention to the possibility of a mental health comorbidity complicating a workplace violence injury.

NIOSH worked with various partners – including nursing and labor organizations, academic groups, other government agencies, and Vida Health Communications, Inc. – to develop a free on-line course aimed at training nurses in recognizing and preventing workplace violence. The course has 13 units that take approximately 15 minutes each to complete and includes “resume-where-you-left-off” technology. Learn more about the courses at Free On-line Violence Prevention Training for Nurses, and the actual course can be accessed here: Workplace Violence Prevention for Nurses CDC Course No. WB1865


News Of Note


Bit of a dreary day here in the northeast, so why not get yourself a good mug of tea, sit for a moment, put your feet up and dive into the latest health care news. If you want insights from people who really understand what’s happening – from across the political spectrum – Health Wonk Review is the must-read.

Steve Anderson at hosts this month’s edition – and what a health care month it has been.

Among the posts are Charles Gaba’s view of Congress’s Keystone Cops act at Trump, Ryan, McConnell & Price will owe my family $2,000 next year. Pay up, jerkweeds. Title pretty much says it all.

Louise Norris’s How Would the BCRA Impact Deductibles and Out-of-Pocket Costs? tells us why the Better Care Reconciliation Act is a double whammy.

And Kelley Beloff, a medical office manager, offers her insights about two healthcare systems, and two very different outcomes, with A Tale of Two Health Systems.

Lots more. Thanks to Steve for hosting.

And for more reading close to the New Jersey homefires, this morning’s Work Comp Central told the story of a North Jersey doctor who authorities accuse of providing oxycodone and Xanax to a group of South Jersey drug dealers. Dr. Craig Gialanella, 53, of North Caldwell was arrested last week along with 17 members of the alleged drug ring.

From Work Comp Central’s story (subscription required):

Gialanella is accused of writing prescriptions to the members of the drug ring run by Douglas Patterson, 53, of Egg Harbor Township; his ex-wife, Mary Connolly, 54; and her three children, Michael, 33, Robert, 31, and Lauren, 28, prosecutors say.

Patterson and Connolly allegedly ran the drug ring’s supply and distribution activities, while Lauren Connolly allegedly served as an intermediary among her mother, ex-stepfather and the street dealers.

New Jersey’s prescription monitoring program showed that in 2016 alone, Gialanella wrote 413 prescriptions for oxycodone to 30 people from the Atlantic County area, which is more than 100 miles away from his office, prosecutors say.

Those 413 prescriptions contained roughly 50,000 30-milligram pills, which the alleged Patterson-Connolly ring referred to as “blues” and sold for between $18-$25 each. Gialanella also allegedly provided Xanax prescriptions to members of the drug ring, who sold the anti-anxiety pills for $5 each.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s office detailed the charges here.

News Of Note – Health Wonk Review


Early in 2006, a few of America’s leading health care policy experts decided it would be beneficial if they banded together to create a bi-weekly compendium of the best of the nation’s health care blogs. Thus was Health Wonk Review born.

Those health care thought leaders also decided in order to sustain the effort they should spread the responsibility around. The way to do that, they thought, would be to have each of them, in sequence, take responsibility for finding the more notable published work over the prior two week period. The job would then be to read it all, select the very best, write a brief summary of each work and publish the compendium on their own sites. This meant Health Wonk Review would rotate through the various sites of the participating health care hunter/gatherers.

The first Health Wonk Review was published 24 February 2006, and it’s been going strong ever since. As you can imagine, it’s a daunting task if it’s your week, but the founders dedication has never wavered (our friends at Workers’ Comp Insider were among the founders). As health Wonk Review gained national notoriety, the founders decided to lighten their load by requiring authors to submit their work for consideration. That’s how it works now. In this way, it’s become quite an honor to have your work included.

The topics covered are all over the health care map, and they include workers’ compensation. But workers’ compensation is a tiny caboose at the end of the great big health care train, so the Review focuses primarily on everything about the ACA (the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare), the AHCA (the American Health Care Act, otherwise known as Trumpcare), the expansion of Medicaid, health care research and economics and a whole lot more. However, because workers’ compensation is so heavily influenced by the greater health care debate, the Review is an excellent way to stay up on the latest trends and thinking.

Health Wonk Review is published every other Thursday, and we have a new edition today. It’s up at XPOPSTFACTOID, and the blog’s host is Andrew Sprung. Give it a look. Andrew has assembled a lot of important information that we in the workers’ compensation arena need to know. His summaries are excellent.