Press Release

UCSF Medical Center Nurses to Hold Rally on Workplace Violence Prevention on Dec. 3

Nurses rally against workplace violence

Nurses at UCSF Hellen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights will hold a rally on Tuesday, Dec. 3 to speak out about serious security concerns and demand that the University of California (UC) continue making improvements to comply with the Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention in Healthcare Standard (S.B. 1299), announced California Nurses Association (CNA).

April 1, 2018 was the deadline for California health care employers to have their workplace violence prevention plans in place. Earlier this year, more than 400 nurses throughout the UCSF health system were surveyed to determine if UCSF has effective workplace violence measures in place. Here are a few of the survey results:

  • 57 percent of nurses have experienced workplace violence at least once and another 15 percent have witnessed workplace violence
  • 80 percent of the workplace violence experienced occurred in the nurses’ unit
  • 81 percent of nurses reported that they either did NOT have a post-incident debrief, or they are unsure if any post-incident debriefs occurred, signaling that if one did occur it was not enough to include all staff members
  • 89 percent of nurses do not feel prepared if an active shooter event were to occur
  • 45 percent of nurses do not feel safe in their designated parking area

What: Rally on workplace violence prevention
When: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 12 p.m.
Where: UCSF Hellen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights (hospital), 505 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco

To interview a nurse, contact Vero Stead-Mendez, 510-457-5396; Julie Tran, 510-715-6924; or Jacob McDaniel 510-612-8301.

“We nurses are frontline staff when encountering workplace violence," said Bridget Weiler Parr, an RN at UCSF Medical Center’s emergency department. “Over the years, I have seen our nurses subjected to violent situations and a lack of resources from the medical center to ensure we have a safe environment.”

“Our department is constantly subjected to difficult and potentially volatile situations,” said Roy DeMatei, RN in the cardiovascular thoracic unit at UCSF Parnassus. “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 to fulfill its legal responsibilities and follow the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) standard.”

Although nurses have made some progress in their efforts to prevent workplace violence, they 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 members of this community.

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

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.

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 4,081 nurses at UCSF Medical Center, between three campuses, Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, and Mount Zion.