In 2014 CBC television and radio investigated the treatment of staff at a high-risk adolescent treatment/corrections centre in British Columbia, Canada. This is a government run facility that put their staff in “Harms Way”. WorkSafeBC (The Workers Compensation Board of BC) and the BC Nurses Union cited them for failure to protect their staff. Despite the notoriety of this extreme example, staff indicated they are skeptical that recommended changes will be implemented. This example illustrates the intransigence of some management groups in changing unsafe practices. This book is about the safety of professional health care professionals, therapists and counsellors and their workplaces and how organizations fail to perform their “due diligence” and ethical responsibilities in protecting their employees. It defines the conditions of Secondary Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue, Vicarious Trauma and outlines historical influences, and the role of organizations in creating and perpetuating unsafe workplaces.
Dr. Hall’s book is uncompromising and thorough in its approach and reveals the inconsistencies in the care of caregivers and the illusion of safety that many professional health care workers work under. She maintains in her book that workplace injuries are costly and entirely preventable and the responsibility, although shared, largely lies with the organizations that employ these workers. These professionals, their clients, their families, and society bear the cost of unsafe workplaces. She also uncovers the socio/political/economic factors that impact this highly preventable situation and offers examples of organizations that are working for change. In summary, Dr. Hall’s book is a revealing expose of the workplaces of the people that care for the most vulnerable, sick, and marginalized clients.