« Workplace Violence Prevention

Workplace violence puts doctor at risk in Texas

Healthcare professionals experience workplace violence more often than other industries, but many incidents are not reported.
Healthcare professionals experience workplace violence more often than other industries, but many incidents are not reported.

Workplace violence should not happen to anyone. Employees do not want to feel afraid of colleagues or supervisors.

In the healthcare industry specifically, hospital workers have a rate of 8.3 injuries per 10,000 workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Nurses and doctors can experience violence at work from patients in the emergency room. According to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), this is common and unsurprising because working with unstable people increases the risks of workplace violence.

Recently in Houston, Texas, a well-known oncologist allegedly poisoned a co-worker. Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo is charged with aggravated assault for hurting Dr. George Blumenschein. Gonzalez-Angulo's plan was premeditated, as she used ethylene glycol, a substance often used in antifreeze, according to ABC 13. At the time of the attack, the two doctors were dating.

Blumenschein prefers his coffee black and questioned Gonzalez-Angulo why the coffee she had brought him tasted sweet, to which she said that she added Splenda. When Blumenschein asked for a new cup, Gonzalez-Angulo insisted that he finish the first cup before grabbing another, but the second cup tasted just as sweet, according to ABC 13.

Within 16 hours, Blumenschein was having cardiopulmonary complications and renal failure. Tests discovered ethylene glycol in his system at an amount that could've have killed him. Gonzalez-Angulo had access to the substance in the laboratories at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

A cohesive workplace violence prevention program in place is critical, especially in the healthcare industry. Doctors and nurses have access to medication and materials that could hurt anyone. Business continuity consultants can help organizations build industry-specific protocols for dating in the workplace to prevent situations like these from occurring.