Physical and verbal abuse against nurses is a serious problem in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings across the country. The likelihood of health care workers being exposed to violence is higher than prison guards or police officers.
Recent disturbing and alarming incidents have put a spotlight on abuse against nurses: In just the past few months, an emergency room nurse in Massachusetts was stabbed by a patient. Two nurses in Illinois were taken hostage, and one was beaten and raped. A nurse in Utah was pushed and wrongly arrested by a police officer. An Arkansas nurse was pushed down a flight of stairs.
We can and must do better for all healthcare workers.
Just like patient safety, the safety of nurses and other healthcare providers is a critical component to ensure quality and safe care.
- Violence against healthcare workers is an escalating problem in healthcare facilities in Illinois and across the country.
- Nearly 60% of all nonfatal violent acts occurred in the workplace in the healthcare and social assistance industry (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).
- The incidence of reporting violence is likely far greater than that which is reported due to widespread perception that violence is a normal part of the job and employer reprisal.
- It has been reported that healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to violence than prison guards or police officers.
- Nurses are especially vulnerable as the largest sector of the healthcare workforce; nurses interact with almost every patient in all health care facilities.
- Many healthcare facilities have taken some safeguards to prevent violence, but additional education, reporting policies, and a zero tolerance for any workplace violence and bullying is needed to create a standard of safety.
- It is possible to reduce and mitigate the effects of violence.
Please support the work being done on HB 4100! Together we can make a difference!