Health care and social service workers aim to make their patients and clients well, however, Department of Labor statistics show they face an outsized risk of on-the-job violence. Nurses, emergency room physicians, social workers, psychiatric facility aides,
and other health care and social service workers report that violence–most often from patients and those accompanying them–results in injury, loss of productivity, and serious safety concerns. A 2016 GAO study reported that rates of violence against health
care workers are up to 12 times higher than rates for the overall workforce. In 2016, 70% of all nonfatal workplace assaults occurred in the health care and social service sectors. A 2018 survey conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians found
that 47% of emergency room doctors have been physically assaulted at work, and 8 in 10 workers surveyed report that this violence is affecting patient care.