Massachusetts Nurses Push For Law To Protect Them From Patient Violence

Massachusetts Nurses Push For Law To Protect Them From Patient Violence

The proposed measure would require hospitals and other employers to implement workplace violence prevention programs.

Nurses are advocating for the Massachusetts state legislature to adopt a law that would require their workplaces to design and implement programs to protect them from violence.

In mid-July, nurses traveled to Beacon Hill, the state capitol building, to testify about the bill and the rise of attacks on nurses throughout the country.

“Violence against caregivers is rampant," Kathy Stokes, a registered nurse in Boston, said, according to Boston 25 News. "As a nurse and as a profession, we should not sit back and let things continue."

The proposed legislation gained new life after a survey conducted by the Massachusetts Nurses Association in 2016 found that more than 85 percent of nurses report being physically or verbally assaulted by patients on the job. Some of the healthcare workers who testified said they had suffered split biceps, back injuries and more after being attacked by patients.

“At one point I had my back to the patient then next thing I knew she had hit me and knocked me to the ground," nurse Deb Falk said.

The bill, titled “An Act Requiring Health Care Employers to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence,” would require hospitals and other employers to put safety measures in place to prevent attacks from happening. The nursing association supports the measure, but an industry group says the proposal could be “detrimental” to employers’ efforts to increase workplace security.

“We believe the proposed bill being heard before the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security (S. 1427/H. 1416) would duplicate, and in some cases conflict with, existing processes and requirements," the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association told The Metro West Daily News in a statement. "We are currently working collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure safe hospital environments, and this type of conflict and confusion could be detrimental to the progress of these conversations.”

The hospital association instead supports a measure that creates new statewide standards for addressing safety risks in hospitals and making sure its members have workplace prevention programs that meets those standards.

But Karen Coughlin, the vice president of the nurses association who has worked as a nurse for over 30 years, said hospitals have been slow to acknowledge the problem. She thinks the original measure, sponsored by Reps. Denise Garlick and Kimberly Ferguson, could actually have an impact on nurses across the state.

"Without legislative action, hospitals and other health care facilities are under no obligation to put the measures in place that will help to mitigate workplace violence," Coughlin said during the legislative hearing, according to Boston 25 News. "That is why we are taking action."

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • The Power of a Layered Approach to Safety

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown. Read Now

  • How a Security System Can Enhance Arena Safety and the Fan Experience

    Ensuring guests have both a memorable experience and a safe one is no small feat for your physical security team. Stadiums, ballparks, arenas, and other large event venues are increasingly leveraging new technologies to transform the fan experience and maintain a high level of security. The goal is to preserve the integrity and excitement of the event while enhancing security and remaining “behind the scenes.” Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • HD2055 Modular Barricade

    Delta Scientific’s electric HD2055 modular shallow foundation barricade is tested to ASTM M50/P1 with negative penetration from the vehicle upon impact. With a shallow foundation of only 24 inches, the HD2055 can be installed without worrying about buried power lines and other below grade obstructions. The modular make-up of the barrier also allows you to cover wider roadways by adding additional modules to the system. The HD2055 boasts an Emergency Fast Operation of 1.5 seconds giving the guard ample time to deploy under a high threat situation. 3

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3

  • ResponderLink

    ResponderLink

    Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), an Alarm.com company and a global leader in gunshot detection solutions, has introduced ResponderLink, a groundbreaking new 911 notification service for gunshot events. ResponderLink completes the circle from detection to 911 notification to first responder awareness, giving law enforcement enhanced situational intelligence they urgently need to save lives. Integrating SDS’s proven gunshot detection system with Noonlight’s SendPolice platform, ResponderLink is the first solution to automatically deliver real-time gunshot detection data to 911 call centers and first responders. When shots are detected, the 911 dispatching center, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP, is contacted based on the gunfire location, enabling faster initiation of life-saving emergency protocols. 3