Last year, 209 cases of threats or violence against health professionals were reviewed. In only the first two months of this year, the figure was 51.
If the rest of the year continues as have January and February, it indicates over 300 reviews, wrote Dagsavisen newspaper. Violence and threats happen in the fields of child protection, in psychiatry, and in emergency rooms and against ambulance drivers.
‘In the municipal health services, there are many who are exposed to this behaviour, whether in connection to home visits, when they are alone in the office, or when working in emergency services in more or less good surroundings’, said the President of the Norwegian Medical Association, Marit Hermansen. She pointed out that doctors are alone in many small housing districts.
Hermansen said that not very extensive changes are needed to make doctors’ everyday work safer.
She mentioned good staffing, being alert, working closely with the police, and development of known procedures for what to do in threatening situations.
The leader of the Norwegian Nurses Organization, Eli Gunhild Bye, pointed at staffing as one possible factor for the upturn in threatening incidents.
‘When there is such an increase, it may say something about us having gotten more demanding patients, that we are not taking adequate precautions, and that we do not have enough staff, but it could also be that people have become more scrupulous at reporting these episodes, so a greater number are being reported,’ she said.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today