Violent patients are seen flinging chairs and lunging at staff at Royal Melbourne Hospital in shocking footage released by workers who are calling for an end to the chaos.
In graphic video played on televisions in the hospital’s waiting rooms, staff sitting behind wired barricades at the emergency department are forced to contend with erratic patients lashing out with whatever means possible.
The video is part of a protest from hospital staff who are tired of being abused after almost 7500 incidents were recorded in 2017,The video shows one man throw a chair at staff siting behind the counter at the emergency department. (YouTube)
There were 7439 “code grey” incidents last year, up 85 percent over the past four years. There were also nine “code black” incidents involving aggressive patients with a weapon.
Emergency department nurse unit manager Susan Harding hoped the video would spark action from hospital authorities to keep workers safe.
“We hope the video, which incorporates examples of what emergency staff experience and CCTV footage of actual incidents, has a positive effect on people in the ED waiting room and watching this on social media,” she said.The man then follows staff to a back area of the department. (YouTube)The glass door is then bashed with the chair in the man’s hands. (YouTube)
“We want our patients and visitors to understand we are committed to providing the best possible care for them, but to do this we must ensure the absolute safety of the people who provide that care.”
Ms Harding said there had to be a significant mind shift in the workplace and in the community about what was acceptable.Another man is seen violently lunging at people sitting behind the counter. (YouTube)
“In healthcare we sometimes tend to think that occupational violence and aggression is ‘just part of the job’,” she said.
“But occupational violence and aggression wears many different hats and takes many different forms.The video was organised by staff under siege in the emergency department. (YouTube)
“We really wanted to change the thinking and help our staff to understand that violence and aggression in their workplace is unacceptable, and that’s not what they come to work for every day.”
The video, developed by the emergency department team, will be presented at a national conference this week on improving hospital safety and security.
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