Vice President Christine Sorensen says health authorities must follow through on policy to protect nurses from violent patients
An incident Abbotsford Regional Hospital on the weekend has prompted a renewal of calls for better security and protection for nurses in BC.
On Sunday a nurse at ARH received cuts above and below her left eye attack after being attacked by an emergency room patient suffering from mental health issues.
Release. At last week’s BC Nurses’ Union convention, hundreds of BC’s nurses were united in their call for action to protect nurses from injury and abuse in health care facilities and communities all over BC.
Yet once again, over the weekend, the need for immediate improvements in safeguards and systems was demonstrated when an ER nurse at Abbotsford hospital was savagely attacked and suffered serious trauma and injury.
“This is clearly unacceptable and the BC Nurses’ Union expects health authorities to improve the safety of nurses now,” says Vice President Christine Sorensen.
“Policies to protect nurses are not being followed. Abbotsford hospital was fined $75,000 in May of 2014 for their inaction on a previous WorkSafeBC violence issue,” she says.
“Nurses need dedicated security in ER, appropriate staffing and reports must be filed immediately with WorkSafeBC and police. Nurses are professionals who provide care and they should not end up as patients due to violence.”
Katherine Hamilton, BCNU’s Fraser Valley chair says, “Clearly the Abbotsford hospital is not adequately protecting nurses. We have been asking for increased security since 2011. Nurses are afraid to come to work and the time for action is long overdue.”
The BCNU wants health authorities to implement policies to protect nurses, including: better security and training, appropriate staffing, prompt incident reporting and investigations, and adequate support for the nurses who are impacted by violence and its aftermath.