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

  • ASIS International and SIA Release “Complexities in the Global Security Market: 2024 Through 2026”

    ASIS International and the Security Industry Association (SIA) – the leading security associations for the security industry – have released ”Complexities in the Global Security Market: 2024 Through 2026”, a new research report that provides insights into the equipment, technologies, and employment of the global security industry, including regional market breakouts. SIA and ASIS partnered with global analytics and advisory firm Omdia to complete the research. Read Now

  • President Biden Issues Executive Order to Bolster U.S Port Cybersecurity

    On Wednesday, President Biden issued an Executive Order to bolster the security of the nation’s ports, alongside a series of additional actions that will strengthen maritime cybersecurity and more Read Now

  • Report: 15 Percent of All Emails Sent in 2023 Were Malicious

    VIPRE Security Group recently released its report titled “Email Security in 2024: An Expert Look at Email-Based Threats”. The 2024 predictions for email security in this report are based on an analysis of over 7 billion emails processed by VIPRE worldwide during 2023. This equates to almost one email for everyone on the planet. Of those, roughly 1 billion (or 15%) were malicious. Read Now

  • ASIS Announces ANSI-Approved Cannabis Security Standard

    ASIS International, a leading authority in security standards and guidelines, proudly announces the release of a pioneering American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved standard dedicated to cannabis security. This best-in-class standard, meticulously developed by industry experts, sets a new benchmark by providing comprehensive requirements and guidance for the design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and maintenance of a cannabis security program. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Whitepapers

New Products

  • Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems, an industry-leading manufacturer of pedestrian and vehicle secure entrance control access systems, is pleased to announce the release of its groundbreaking V07 software. The V07 software update is designed specifically to address cybersecurity concerns and will ensure the integrity and confidentiality of Automatic Systems applications. With the new V07 software, updates will be delivered by means of an encrypted file. 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

  • Compact IP Video Intercom

    Viking’s X-205 Series of intercoms provide HD IP video and two-way voice communication - all wrapped up in an attractive compact chassis. 3