Jamie Davis at the MedicCast writes - EMS and Health Care Workplace Violence on Federal Radar. He also refers to a MedicCast podcast that has not yet been posted, but will be worth listening to when it is posted.
I completely agree with what he writes.
As with people who are not convicted of crimes, because of extenuating circumstance (such as a low blood sugar), the lack of conviction does not mean that the violence did not happen. The lack of a criminal conviction does not mean that nobody was hurt or killed. The lack of a criminal conviction does not even mean that an arrest was inappropriate.
We are covering up violence by not reporting violence.
We are encouraging violence by not reporting violence.
We are pretending that violence that did not result in hospitalization did not happen. Then we are surprised when there is violence that results in hospitalization. When we provide excuses, we encourage excesses.
This is also a problem in the hospital. Nurses are discouraged from reporting violence and from pressing charges. We need to do a much better job of reporting violence.
I continually criticize Zero Tolerance Laws, because the idea that everything in the same category should be treated with at least some punishment completely ignores that the category will include things that do not deserve punishment. On the other hand, I support Zero Tolerance reporting of violence.
Translated from French, the painting states, This is not a pipe. This is true, since it is a picture of a pipe. Rene Magritte's The Treachery Of Images is often used to make this point.
If a picture of something were the same as the object portrayed, I would take this picture of gold bars from Fort Knox to someone who could pay me for the gold. This would quickly destabilize civilization, which would not be a good thing. As it turns out, the image is from an article about fake gold bars in Fort Knox. How would we be able to tell the difference between a picture of the real thing and a picture of a fake? Since a fake is creating an image of the real thing, would it matter?
How is this relevant?
One of the problems with Zero Tolerance Laws is that they do not make this distinction between reality and appearance.
Zero Tolerance Laws mandate punishment for a politically incorrect appearance.
Zero Tolerance Laws discourage judgment - Sentence first, verdict afterward.
Zero Tolerance Laws are designed to prevent us from thinking, because What if somebody makes a bad decision?
Zero Tolerance Laws are excellent examples of extremely bad decisions.
Zero Tolerance reporting helps to make us aware of the problem and helps to do something about the problem.
Zero Tolerance reporting of violence is a way to learn just how bad a problem is.
Zero Tolerance reporting of violence is a way to prevent violence from being ignored.
Assaults on medical personnel are a real problem.
Assaults on medical personnel are not imaginary.
We need to start acting as if the lack of reporting of violence means that violence is not real.
Today, Magritte might paint a picture of an assault on a doctor/nurse/EMT and write This is not a reported assault. Imagine if we were to do something completely crazy - imagine if we were to face reality.
Go read what Jamie wrote. He is the one providing the details about workplace violence and medical personnel.