Calif. Nurses Association Calls for Stronger Health Worker Safety Measures
Officials from the California Nurses Association-National Nurses United are calling for immediate changes to safety and security measures to help protect nurses and other medical workers, the Vallejo Times Herald reports.
Reports of Violence
The call for changes stems in part from several recent reports of assaults against nurses. According to CNA, violence in the medical workplace has increased significantly over the past 10 years.
Occupational safety officials say the number of violent incidents that occur in health care settings might be higher than reported. They say some health workers might not report violent events because of:
- A lack of institutional policies on reporting violence;
- A perception that assaults are part of the job; and
- Concerns that employers might blame assaults on worker negligence or poor job performance.
Proposed Safety Measures
A 1993 state law requires hospitals to have a security plan. However, that law does not cover correctional facilities that provide health care services.
Liz Jacobs, CNA spokesperson, said the union is working on legislation that would require security protections for health workers in correctional facilities.
The union also has expressed support for additional health worker safety measures, including:
- Barriers between exam rooms and entrances to the emergency department;
- Improved lighting for parking lots;
- Metal detectors; and
- Security guards in EDs.