Frontline risk: Pandemic stress gets violent in Michigan hospitals

December 20, 2021, 7:34 AM

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Doctors, nurses and other workers at Michigan's hospitals have become the target of violence from patients and their relatives as Covid surges. They're getting hit, yelled at and spit on, according to the Detroit Free Press:

Hospital staffers are joining the inauspicious ranks of other public-facing workers -- such as grocery store, restaurant, retail and airline employees -- who are being berated and even physically assaulted by frustrated and inconsiderate customers scoffing at and lashing out against pandemic protection rules.

“Our staff are yelled at, hit, punched, scratched. We hear about these on a day-to-day basis," said Dr. Matt Biersack, president of Mercy Health Saint Mary's during a recent briefing. "It feels unrelenting."

"We see this on an increasing basis in our member hospitals, both small rural hospitals and large urban systems. It's not limited to one region of the state. It is increasingly widespread," said Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

Besides strict safety protocols, hospital officials say pandemic stress and long emergency room wait contribute to the violence.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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