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Health Care Workers Deserve Real Solutions to Protect Them from Workplace Violence.



Lately, the next editorial was submitted to the Colorado Solar. It’s the intention of the Colorado Nurses Affiliation to advocate for secure working environments together with secure workloads and secure working circumstances. Our nursing employees and our sufferers deserve nothing much less.

One extra notice I’ll add right here is the current trending information that exhibits that nationally, now we have graduated over 200,000 newly licensed RNs in 2023. Since 2010, now we have grown the availability of licensed RNs within the U.S. by 2 million, now recorded as 4.7 million licensed RNs. The scarcity shouldn’t be of RNs, the scarcity is of RNs prepared to offer medical nursing care in acute and long-term care settings. We should intervene to lower turnover and dissatisfaction or no quantity of funding for nursing schooling will fill the leaking buckets of employment circumstances.

It is no secret that our well being care staff have confronted unprecedented challenges over the previous few years, from caring for the sick by means of the COVID-19 pandemic to staffing shortages to excessive charges of burnout. An Oct. 12 story within the Colorado Solar detailed one more challenge–the troubling rise in violence towards well being care staff in Colorado.

Knowledge particular to the true incidence of office incivility, bullying and violence is thought to be restricted resulting from challenges in constant reporting. Nevertheless, a 2022 survey from the American Nurses Affiliation Basis of over 11,000 nurses nationwide discovered that 60% of nurses skilled incivility and bullying, and 29% reported incidents of violence.

As Govt Director of the Colorado Nurses Affiliation (CNA), I work day by day to advocate on behalf of nurses, the most important and most trusted group of execs in our well being care system. Our work on behalf of all Colorado nurses is to guarantee that these academically and clinically ready professionals can present the care that every of us wants and deserves when sickness strikes. Nurses select this career as a result of they’ve a powerful need to assist folks and make a constructive impression in sufferers’ lives. They need to love their jobs, and so they need nothing greater than to have the ability to do their jobs safely and successfully. Well being care staff deserve dignity, respect, and security on the job–not to be afraid to return to work.

Indubitably, we’d like motion to maintain well being care staff secure. A current CNA member and non-member survey indicated that nurses’ priorities for office security are enough staffing, schooling {and professional} improvement in de-escalation methods, and constant and dependable response groups to incidents of incivility, bullying and violence.

Throughout the 2024 legislative session, CNA is supporting a invoice that’s laser-focused on decreasing the danger and stopping office violence. This proposal would require hospitals to create violence prevention plans primarily based on suggestions from frontline staff themselves and the hottest information on how and why violence is going on of their facility. It is going to additionally require hospitals to present office violence coaching to staff, which incorporates confirmed de-escalation ways to assist staff defend themselves. Lastly, it’ll guarantee well being care staff are taken care of within the aftermath of an incident by requiring amenities to supply quite a lot of assets, together with psychological well being care.

In keeping with the Solar’s reporting, there are some present efforts to curb office violence in well being care amenities by rising felony penalties for assaults on well being care staff. Whereas these efforts could also be well-intentioned, they don’t seem to be more likely to stop violence. Assaults are already a criminal offense, and we all know of no information that confirms that elevated sentencing reduces incidents of office violence.

Not solely is there no proof foundation for insurance policies that enhance felony penalties when a well being care employee is assaulted, however these insurance policies disproportionately impression these with behavioral well being points, folks with disabilities, and other people with neurological circumstances like epilepsy, dementia, and others. Additional penalizing these already-vulnerable populations after an incident has already occurred would not make us any safer, and these sorts of insurance policies put well being care suppliers who’ve an obligation to initially do no hurt in an ethically compromised place. Although some could also be tempted to threaten punitive motion, it’s extra essential to us that any motion taken makes significant adjustments to the work atmosphere to forestall violence within the first place.

We’d like a research-backed, prevention-focused resolution to guard well being care staff. Well being care staff have been working arduous to maintain us wholesome and secure amid unprecedented challenges, typically risking their very own well being to take action whereas battling burnout in high-intensity environments. They deserve actual options to maintain them secure on the job.

Colleen Casper, DNP, RN, MS Govt Director, Colorado Nurses Affiliation

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