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Ohio doctors address challenges of 'workplace violence' for overloaded hospital staff

 A hospital bed awaits a patient.
A hospital bed awaits a patient.

Hospital leaders around the state are pleading for unvaccinated people to get the COVID-19 shot. They say medical facilities are getting crushed by a wave of COVID patients and the vast majority are unvaccinated.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Department of Health director, underscored the severity of the latest COVID surge, and emphasized that it's mostly unvaccinated people who are severely sick and dying.

Dr. David Custodio, president of the Summa Health System Akron Campus, added that hospital staff is also dealing with hostility and frustration.

"Workplace violence in the hospitals has always been a challenge and during these times of high stress where loved ones are in the hospital -- we're seeing more and more frustration with this," says Custodio. "And yes on a regular basis, some family members, not all, but some in those highly charged situations, do not treat our employees with the kindness that we would expect as we're working to save their lives."

Custodio says that includes pressure from families to administer unproven treatments.

He and other doctors sent a plea to unvaccinated Ohioans.

"This is going to continue if we don't practice what we need to do. And so I'm begging on behalf of all of us and health care workers that you do what you need to do to help protect us all," says Custodio.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.