Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Injured Hispanic Patients

There are many assault victims that see their trauma as a uniquely horrible experience that is unlikely to ever occur again. As long as the perpetrator is caught and punished, they feel safe and vindicated.

However, there are some important reasons to routinely order a psychological exam on anyone injured in the workplace:
a. First and foremost, it is the decent and responsible thing to do. Even if the injured worker is doing well after the assault, a psychological referral communicates that you are sufficiently concerned that you want reassurance that they are doing as well as they seem to be doing.

b. Those individuals who are assaulted by coworkers have a difficult time since they must process how their employer and coworkers see the perpetrator. It is not infrequent for some employers to blame the victim for the assault, feeling the victim provoked the attack, and equally as often, these same employers feel that the victim is now a burden to them and source of unrest among other workers.

c. Male and female employees respond differently to being assaulted regardless if it is a coworker or as part of a crime committed by an outside party. Males often feel that their masculinity has been impugned, and males will obsess for extended periods regarding the way they *should* have handled the assault. This is made all the worse when the males found themselves showing signs of terror in the presence of their assailant. By contrast, women chiefly want to know that the assailant will not harm them again. They uniformly believe that the attacker has a need to return and do further harm.

d. But the most disappointing occurrence after an assault is the victim seeing this as an opportunity. This quite often occurs where several employees have been assaulted in the same incident and then band together and conspire to use the assault as an opportunity to be compensated for what then becomes an “extended vacation.”

Thus, referral of assaulted workers is mandatory. Many will not require care. Those who do require care deserve out empathy, support and assistance. If an assaulted worker requests care but then begins to manipulate (cannot leave home, cannot travel far, and/or has specific criteria as to whom they see), then one should begin to watch for signs of malingering.

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