RESULTS: More than two-thirds of the paramedics surveyed reported being verbally attacked, while over a quarter of the respondents recounted physical abuse. Sexual harassment and sexual assault were reported by 13.6 and 2.7 percent of the respondents, respectively. Most of the attacks were perpetrated by patients and, to a much lesser degree, their colleagues, and the patients’ friends and family
Reports of that study comes at an interesting time. Recently Bob Lee, a former safari guide and apparent multi-millionare, was sentenced to house arrest on an island he happens to own, and was placed on probation for the fondling of a medic on an airplane. This would fall into the category where the patient is most certainly abusing the provider, but why do we hear so little of these cases?
Is there a lack of reporting on the providers part? Does that stem from the fact that, in theory, we view the patient as the one who is weaker and in need? Do we take pity on them and therefore don’t report it, or is there an acute lack of prosecution against the offenders?
For whatever the reason, it’s rare to hear of the cases where the provider has been wronged… but the cases where a patient has even POTENTIALLY been wronged seems to be displayed prominently on the front page of the paper. We are the only ones who can change that sort of treatment both from the media and the patients, but first we need to resolve to do something about it.