Thursday, January 9, 2020


                                                    Making Peace with God

                       Let’s talk about violence, assaults and homicide.
When we think of violence, violent attacks, or homicide, most people imagine street crime, a convenience store robbery gone very badly, or perhaps a lethal home invasion.
My topic is different: violence perpetrated against healthcare workers-nurses, physicians, emergency techs, medical assistants, x-ray techs and so forth-at the hands of patients, patient’s family members and patient acquaintances.

                                             A Population Under Attack

The healthcare employee population is, literally and figuratively, under attack and victims are losing their sense of freedom, safety, emotional stability, and in some cases their lives.
Nurses have been violently attacked by patients that they were taken care of. Beaten, stabbed, knocked out and a nurse was shot another nurse was raped.
Violent attacks on healthcare workers has become an out of control pandemic.

                                 “Have a Good Day, See You Later” 

I have been a nurse for over 40 years. As healthcare workers, we never know if we are going to get home without being injured-or if we are to return home at all.
When we kiss a spouse or hug a child goodbye before heading off to work, each wishing the other a good day, too many of us return home a completely different person, or never return home at all.
                                              “Just suck it up “

Despite the widespread and out of control occurrences of violence -perpetrated too 
 often, too frequently. And against too many of us-and despite the pervasive acceptance by victim and administrator alike that its “just part of the job” it’s a fact that being assaulted is not in any healthcare job description.
This bears repeating: being assaulted is not in any healthcare job description
Yet both victims and administrators are sweeping it under the rug.

                                   ONE VICTIMS TALE: MEET JANE

 Nurses everywhere need to read this account, even if you don’t believe it applies to you. Unfortunately, many healthcare workers will identify with this victim’s experience.
            I was sitting down charting/ documenting on my patient. Out of the corner of my eye I see a patient unsteady on her feet, coming right at me. I get up and try to steady her, and she falls into my chair. The patient grabs the back of my neck, pulls me down on her lap wrenching and twisting my neck and head. My back is slammed against the arm of the chair. She keeps wrenching and twisting my neck and head, I felt like I was losing (consciousness) My strength is ebbing, I am becoming weak and I am praying to God… I am making peace with my God. I thought I was going to die.
My colleagues are all over me, trying to help. One of the nurses is grabbing the patient’s hand as the patient strains to bite my hand; the other nurse has the patient’s other hand behind her back. The patient persisted in her attack until she heard the voice of the security guard to stop. It wasn’t until then that she put her hands in the air, and I was free. FREE!

                                                  Like an Onion

Jane’s physical assault is only part of her experience.
An assault is like the layers of an onion. First there is the actual event; then there is the physical, emotional and financial aftermath; and finally, there is the social, familial and employer response.
The emotional trauma following an assault is different for everyone, but for Jane she is forced to revisit the attack and the accompany terror she experiences pain or numbness. Today, Jane continues to battle with anxiety, severe stress, and inability to sleep as a result of her experience.
Jane has become hyper-vigilant of her surroundings and has suffered a loss of confidence in her abilities to respond without pause or hesitancy to emergency situations- a trait critical to her career as a healthcare worker.
As a result of theses physical and emotional repercussions, Jane has not been able to return to the same unit that previously employed her.
And. finally, there is perhaps the most disturbing aftermath to a violent event:
The victim’s coworkers, and sometimes family, just wants her to “get over it” get on with life and move on. “you’re alive, aren’t you? When are you going back to work? When will you stop moping around? What is the big deal? Stop being a Drama Queen!
Countless individuals have been in this situation, healthcare workers are hurt, disabled and scared to continue the only job they want to do.
 After being assaulted they are unable to continue. Someone took away their health, paycheck and career!
We need to have a call to action! We need to continue writing incident reports, call the police, become change agents Change the culture of your environment, stop enabling these people that assault us, don’t accept that being assaulted is part of your job! talk about the violence, support each other. Watch each other’s back.

Sheila Wilson MPH BSN R.N.

Author: “The shocking reality of violence in healthcare and what we can do about it”

Thursday, January 2, 2020

                                            IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE A CHANGE?

Did you know 70-80% of Healthcare workers get assaulted by the patients they are taking care of or the patients family or their friends. You say to your self how is that possible?
It happens every day here in MA. in every State and every Country. Healthcare violence is an epidemic!
And what are we doing about it and who are the players?
That is a great question ,one that I don't know the answer.
"Recently workplace violence has gained recognition as a distinct category of violent crime that requires specific responses from employers,law enforcement, and the community according to the Department of Labor,Federal Bureau of Investigation( 2004)
How is this working? Who has seen any good effects from these people?
There was one person that seemed to listen to the Healthcare workers and it was Gov. Duvell Patrick The Governor in MA. in 2010 he made it a law ,,if a healthcare worker was assaulted it could result in a misdemeanor.
Since that time their has been Bills filed by Senators and Representatives at the State House to make it a felony instead of a misdemeanor for assaulting healthcare workers. They have never been passed.
Again MA. has two bills sponsored by Senator Michael Brady Senate bill 838 and Representative Paul Tucker House bill 1578
 "An Act Strengthening the penalty for Assault or Assault and Battery on an Emergency Medical Technician, Ambulance Operator, Ambulance Attendant or Health care Provider."
 One solution could be that this law gets passed this time.To do this we need everyone that supports these bills to call their Senators and Representatives.
Can this Happen????
To all that read this Thank You
Sheila Wilson R.N.BSN MPH
Pres. stophealcareviolence
stophealthcareviolence .org
Author "The shocking reality of violence in healthcare and what we can do about it"

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Another Life Lost; Enough

Beijing Dr Wen YANG’s death is another reminder of the healthcare violence global epidemic. Going forward, we ought to take action.

Guest post by Dr. Li Li, MD, MBA
Global Medical Lead, Cardiovascular, Bayer AG, Berlin, Germany

Dr. Wen YANG was a 51-year-old ER physician, a mother, a wife, a daughter, working in Beijing Civil Aviation Hospital. On 24th, December 2019, Tuesday, one week earlier, she lost her life. That day was Christmas Eve. 

Dr. Yang was stabbed by a patient’s relative at her night shift, suffered from serious wounds to her neck, no breaths or heartbeats at the scene. The tragedy was recorded by the surveillance camera, a few seconds of murder was terribly brutal and cruel.

As a human, I was shocked by what I saw from the footage, just as most of us were. Dr. Yang was a caring, young woman, she had the nerve to apply her 27 years’ medicine knowledge to patients. Her death is another tragic reminder that there have been increasing reports, yet still underreported, of verbal, physical and psychological violence happening in the past years, not just in China, but worldwide.

The doctors, nurses and the staff work in health care are trained to take care of the ill, the injured and the people who come for help...the health care workers do not agree to be attacked, insulted, or murdered. 

Working in the health care profession is not easy; to treat and to care for patients is very challenging, it takes a life-long commitment. The medicine does not always work, some diseases so far are still not curable, a group of patients sadly has to face death no matter how hard they have fought. 

We all know the reasons causing healthcare violence epidemic are not straightforward, combating the violence goes a long way ahead, same in America. One piece of advice shared by Sheila Wilson, President of Stop-Healthcare-Violence in one of her publications, “combating Healthcare workplace violence,” she wrote, “it is my belief that underreporting is due to healthcare worker misconception of workplace violence.” (1)

Some healthcare workers get used to the verbal abuse or mild physical attacks, seeing them as part of their daily work, they felt upset or angry when the attacks happened. But the victims did not deem it necessary or important to file an incident report, or perhaps no one or no channel in the workplaces available was to assist those victims. On the other hand, the phenomenon of healthcare violence epidemic, if released to the general public, seems to undermine the image of the hospitals. (2) 

Sheila suggested, “With an advocate in place, there would be a non-administrative point-person designated to check in with the victim frequently, communicate with staff, conduct ongoing education and outreach, and foster a sense of security and right to safety for healthcare workers.” Then the first fundamental step is to ensure healthcare workers clearly being aware of the process of the incidence reporting, and the risk management system should be in place.

The doctors, nurses and the staff work in health care are trained to take care of the ill, the injured and the people who come for help. Sometimes they enjoy the extraordinary, wonderful moments when they witness their patients getting recovered. They are proud of themselves and their endeavors. The public media also extolls the pleasures of the medical achievement and disease cure by humans.

However not always it is perfect, and very uncommon for the general public to listen to health care workers complaining, about their frustration, tiredness, depression. Remember please, the health care workers do not agree to be attacked, insulted, or murdered. 

Another life was lost when she was taking care of others. Violence again wins. 

1. Wilson S. Combating Healthcare Workplace Violence. 
Available from 

2. Arnetz JE, Hamblin L, Ager J, et al. Work, 2015, 51(1): 51-9. 
Available from

About the Author

Dr. Li Li
Dr Li Li graduated from Peking University with MD degree in 2004, worked in Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China as a licensed Gynaecologist for 6 years.  Then she received MBA degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since 2012, she has been working in the global headquarter of Bayer AG. She has published about 10 papers in the scientific journals and several posters in the international congresses.

Dr Li Li has an interest in enhancing the medical communication & education across countries, and a passion of supporting the activities to improve people’s health & wellbeing worldwide.

Dr. Li Li may be reached by email at or

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Again I am writing " Implementing lasting deterrents to Healthcare violence" There is a total of 17 deterrents to this.
There are a few that could cost the hospital a few dollars but not much.
Working with an emergency physician that knows what truly happens in the emergency room and will cover our backs as nurses, medical assistants, x-ray techs etc. is great,
Thank You DR. Charles Anderson for your help.

# 11 No Healthcare worker may be penalized for coming to the aid of another healthcare worker who           is being assaulted or abused.This would require a level of immunity.

# 12 Any healthcare worker who fears for the safety of another healthcare worker, a patient or a                  visitor may dial 911 at any time without fear of being disciplined by the hospital they work in.

 # 13 Any person that is deemed to be drug seeking by a physician may not be a candidate for a                   patient satisfaction survey,nor can a physician's decision not to prescribe                                               sedatives,tranquilizers.antibiotics or tests be used against him/her by hospitals.
         Physicians are  being forced to please drug seekers in the name of pleasing customers. A                     disproportionate number of violent people are under the influence of drugs or are drug seeking.
         High Press -Ganey scores mean that ED Physicians have given up doing the right thing. They             are ordering tests ,giving antibiotics ,and giving narcotics to get high scores.

# 14  An emergency physician may request the application of four point restraints by security of any            belligerent patient without the fear of retribution by administration. There would be guidelines.

#  15 The emergency physician may request that security personnel remain at the bedside of any                    patient the physician deems to be a threat.

# 16  All in-patient hospital and ED treatment area must wear identification badges.

# 17  An Emergency physician may request that security remove any relative,friend or visitor from               the premises of the hospital should the physician deem this person to be a threat of violence.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Speaking with Dr, Anderson was so refreshing! He knows what goes on because he worked it! Only a couple of these suggestions would cost the hospital money. However if it saves a healthcare worker it really wouldn't cost anything!

#7.  Uniformed,armed security personnel must be allowed to use non-lethal deterrents without fear of prosecution ( pepper spray, Mace and taser),

#8  Hospitals must be required to provide legal support for healthcare workers who sustain significant injury, or at the request of the employee.

#9  No Healthcare worker may be penalized for reporting an assault or abuse.

# 10 All verbal and physical assaults must be reported, including those by family, friends and visitor.

To be continued!

Monday, November 11, 2019

                                       Implementing lasting Deterrents to healthcare violence

                     I am continuing with my interview with Dr. Anderson, we are on #3,#4 #5 and six.

#3 Signage : Prominent signs using the word "NO" must be displayed throughout every hospital describing behavior that is not tolerated.
    How many of you have this type of sign??????

#4 Every type of assault or abuse must have a measured response from the hospital.

#5 Every hospital must be required to supply uniformed  armed security in the ED at all times. The first principle of crowd control is a show of force. The uniform and the weapon are powerful deterrents necessary to do this job whether you like guns or not.

# 6 Uniformed ,armed security personnel be authorized to restrain any person they deem to be out of control or a danger to healthcare workers or patients.including the use of hand cuffs, of course there would be guidelines. of course ,a certain level of immunity from prosecution would be necessary in order to insure that security personnel are hands on  My point is that non ED dedicated non uniformed, unarmed security personnel who are fearful of touching anybody is the norm at this time.

How are we doing so far? Any comments would be appreciated . Thank You

Sunday, November 10, 2019

                               Implementing Lasting Deterrents to Healthcare Violence

A while back I had an interview with DR. Charles Anderson on PWRN internet radio. We were discussing the violence in healthcare and what could we do about.I am writing the second of our list in Implementing lasting deterrents to healthcare violence.

Please give me your comments. 

#2 Rejection of the customer model of healthcare. This model has caused so many problems that it should be rejected by nurses and physicians. Patients are only customers in the eyes of ignorant marketers and greedy corporations. Medical decisions,the dispensing of controlled substances, the use of antibiotics,and the use of expensive and potentially harmful imaging procedures, should no longer be the prerogative of patients or customers.That is what Doctors are for.