Press Release

UCLA Medical Center Nurses to Hold Press Conference on Workplace Violence Prevention on Nov. 20

Nurses rally against workplace violence
Nurses rally against workplace violence

Nurses at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center will hold a press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 20 to speak out about serious security concerns and demand that the University of California continue making improvements to comply with the Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention in Healthcare Standard (S.B. 1299), announced California Nurses Association (CNA).

Workplace violence prevention is a critical issue for nurses who experience workplace violence at a much higher rate than other industries. That’s why CNA sponsored, fought for, and won S.B. 1299, state workplace violence prevention legislation, in 2014. This law mandated that Cal/OSHA develop a standard to ensure that all California health care employers have a comprehensive, unit-specific plan in place to protect health care workers in all facilities. April 1, 2018 was the deadline for California health care employers to have their workplace violence prevention plans in place.

“We nurses are often the first line of defense when encountering violent situations at work,” said Marcia Santini, who has worked as an RN in UCLA Medical Center’s emergency department for 30 years. “Our department is constantly subjected to difficult and potentially volatile situations. It’s important for nurses to feel safe and secure in our environment to provide the type of care our patients deserve. We are calling on the University of California (UC) to fulfill its legal responsibilities and follow the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) standard.” 

What: Press conference on workplace violence prevention
When: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 7:30 a.m.
Where: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, 757 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles

To interview a nurse, contact Kadie Manion, 747-240-8540; Maria Vivanco, 510-761-1519; or Chuleenan Svetvilas, 510-631-5337.

“We have asked UC to implement various procedures and protocols to address the increase in violence we all face at work,” said Crystal James, RN, who has worked in UCLA’s intensive care unit for eight years. “Although we have made some progress in our efforts to prevent workplace violence, we are demanding that UC fully comply with the regulations both for the safety of patients and nurses who work hard every day to care for the members of this community.”

Earlier this year, more than 500 nurses throughout the UCLA health system were surveyed to determine if UCLA has effective workplace violence measures in place. Here are a few of the survey results:

  • 45 percent of nurses have experienced workplace violence at least once and another 23 percent have witnessed workplace violence
  • 84 percent of nurses do not feel prepared if an active shooter event were to occur
  • 40 percent of nurses do not feel safe in their designated parking area

The nurses at UCLA Medical Center are asking UC to increase security staff at Westwood, improve security in the parking structures, install metal detectors in the hospital, create unit-specific workplace violence prevention plans, and involve nurses and their union when creating and implementing workplace violence prevention plans, among other requests.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, RNs in private industry in the U.S. experienced a rate of 13.5 violence-related injuries per 10,000 full-time employees. The injury rate for RNs is more than three times higher than the violence-related injuries for workers overall in the same year.

CNA represents 3,000 nurses at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and 1,000 nurses at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica.