Violence in the workplace is a growing concern at hospitals in Missouri.

Mike Poore is CEO of Mosaic Life Care, which operates hospitals in northwest Missouri’s St. Joseph, Albany, and Maryville. He said there has been a dramatic increase in violence against its caregivers over the last two years.

“We’ve had random acts of violence, you know, in every department in the hospital and it’s increasingly frustrating,” he said. “In the last several weeks I’ve had a nurse punched in the face. I’ve had another caregiver who was grabbed by the hair and her face was slammed into a table.”

Poore also said a security guard suffered a broken kneecap while responding to an assault.

Mosaic Chief Nursing Officer Rebecca Bledsoe said their staff face a wide variety of threatening behavior.

“Everything from verbal abuse, mental abuse, and into physical abuse,” she said, “and it’s every scenario that you can imagine.”

Both Bledsoe and Poore said Mosaic is encouraging nurses and others who are assaulted to report it to police. But Bledsoe said her nurses are reluctant to report assaults.

“Deep down in their heart, they feel like it goes against what they are here to do and that’s just to provide care to patients,” she said.

Mosaic is helping alleviate some of the burden of filing the paperwork to report workplace violence.

“I’ve been in healthcare for 36 years,” Poore said. “It’s just that we’ve seen it increase to a level that is not seen in my career.”

By Brent Martin of Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.