Post-Incident Response for the Employer
The employer should make counseling services available for all traumatized workers. Nurses should be free to decline such services and/or pursue their own counselors. Organizations can support assaulted nurses in various other ways including:
- Supporting the injured nurse's right to file reports through the legal system, and name the perpetrator;
Providing guidance around initiating Workers' Compensation filings;
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Note that most workers' compensation systems won't pay lost wages until a worker's injury has resulted in a minimum number of lost work days. But many systems will provide occupational medical coverage even if the injury did not result in lost work days through the medical-only benefit. So even if an injury doesn't restrict work, an injured nurse may be entitled to injury treatment coverage, which could include psychotherapy if the insurer determines that it's warranted.
- Initiating procedures to keep the injured nurse and the assailant separated.
Employers are also responsible for reporting to OSHA if an injury involves lost time and/or more than first aid.