Sheila Wilson is the creator of this blog. Sheila has been an advocate for Nurses for sometime. Many Nurses are being violent attacked in the ER. I am not sure why there is not an out cry from the medical community. Maybe, many may not care!!!!
What do you think the reason is for Nurses not being more involved.??
If we as healthcare workers don’t fight to stop the violence, why would it stop?
Working in an emergency room, in any hospital can be chaotic at best. People are sick and need help and that is our job. However, we can’t do this job if we as the healthcare providers get assaulted.
This is one nurse’s story: No one saw this coming, the woman sprung off the stretcher like a lightning bolt and was running so fast you would think her pants were on fire!
She jumped on the back of the nurse that was taking care of her. The minute she got on her back she started punching, hitting and yelling.
Staff members rushed to help, feeling as though they were running in slow motion. If she had fallen, she would have landed on an elderly patient nearby. Eventually it took seven people to get her off the nurses back.
Nurses learn early on never turn your back on a patient; walk out of the room backwards or sideways; and always be on the alert. This is with any patient. This nurse didn’t turn her back on the patient until she was far enough away.
In this incident the nurse involved was out of work for close to four months. It was yet another incident where a healthcare worker was injured at work.
Check this out: Recently workplace violence has gained recognition as a distinct category of violent crime that requires specific responses from employers, law enforcement and the community.
This premise was quoted by the FBI in 2004
Has anything really been done? We are now in 2019 15 years later so why is healthcare violence still escalating?
Have we made any progress?
In the past decade, there has been 110% spike in the rate of violent incidents reported against healthcare workers.
Let’s take a look
In 2010 Gov. Patrick made it a misdemeanor in the state of MA. For assaulting healthcare workers. WOW the definition of misdemeanor is: Misdemeanor. Offenses lower than felonies and generally those punishable by fine, penalty, Forfeiture, or imprisonment other than in a penitentiary. Under federal law, and most state laws, any offense other than a felony is classified as a misdemeanor. Certain states also have various classes of misdemeanors
It boils down to, maybe a slap on their hand or see a probation officer.
Did you know that when you call the police officer can’t arrest the assailant unless s/he sees the incident! Even if there were plenty of people that saw it happen. The police will take a report, and in a few days, detectives come and ask whether you can describe the patient or they’ll ask staff to identify the violent patient.
Now as healthcare workers we have the choice to bring charges or don’t bring charges.
Fight for Justice
At most times the initial shock of seeing or hearing about an assault is so visible, but it quickly diminishes. People soon don’t think about the assault. Life goes on. The assault victim is yesterday’s news and possibly next week statistic.
If we as healthcare workers don’t fight to get legislation passed to protect healthcare workers, the assaults will continue and the statistics will continue to grow.
YEAR OF 2019
Enough is Enough: Massachusetts is again sponsoring a bill to strengthen the penalties for assaulting healthcare workers.
As stated, before Gov. Patrick made the Massachusetts law a misdemeanor for assaulting health care workers in 2010. Massachusetts has been asking for stricter penalties since then. Each session the bill dies, I don’t have an answer however it hasn’t stop us to continue to try to make the law a felony in Massachusetts like so many other States.
Presently there is a bill pending
Senator Michael Brady and Representative Paul Tucker have sponsored the bill.
Senate Bill # 838 and House Bill #1578
An act Strengthening the Penalty for assault or Assault and Battery on an Emergency Medical Technician, Ambulance Operator, Ambulance Attendant or Health Care Provider.
We need your help, all of you Please call your Senator, your Representative and tell them you support this bill!
Sheila Wilson R.N. BSN MPH
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