California Nurses to Testify for Hospital Workplace Violence Bill, A.B. 30 (Hayashi)
Press Release Press Release, 3/21/11
For Immediate Release
March 21, 2011
RNs say need for stronger protections are critical for prevention of rising violence in healthcare
Tomorrow, Deborah Burger, RN, and co-president of the California Nurses Association (CNA) will testify, before the Assembly Health Committee in support of A.B. 30 – legislation that aims to prevent the escalating tide of workplace violence occurring throughout California’s hospitals. The law will hold hospitals accountable for implementing more effective policies to protect nurses and patients alike in healthcare settings.
Violence in California’s healthcare facilities is an endemic problem that demands changes. A 2007 National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health found that among California hospitals, surveillance of workplace violence incidents is “uncoordinated and inefficient,” there was little employee training in regards to violence, and other systems were inadequate. The same study found that healthcare workers have long been at high risk for violence, with nurses having the highest rate of victimization.
Other research helps describe exactly how pervasive the problem. One 2010 study, by the Emergency Nurses Association, found that between eight and 13 percent of emergency department nurses are victims of violence every week. Three out of four reported that the hospital gave them no response following the incidents of violence. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 500,000 nurses fall victim to workplace violence every year.
CNA is a sponsor of A.B. 30 which would address this problem by improving reporting, planning, training, investigation of violence incidents at hospitals in the state, as well as protection of healthcare workers from retaliation for seeking assistance or treatment for such incidents.
“I am here today to support Assemblymember Hayashi’s A.B. 30, because the problem of violence against healthcare workers in California’s hospitals must be dealt with. Every nurse in the state knows the name of Cynthia Palomata, RN, who lost her life due to violence at her facility—and every nurse knows of other incidents at her local hospital that have not been addressed. It is time for the state’s hospitals to treat this problem seriously, and ensure that nurses can practice their profession safely, and patients can be treated in safe settings,” said Burger.
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