A union that represents Massachusetts nurses is pushing for the passage of a bill that would require healthcare providers to partner with unions to create a comprehensive workplace violence program, according to a report in the Boston Business Journal.
The proposed legislation comes months after the death of a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who was shot by a man upset about his mother's death. A number of nurses testified at a hearing on the bill this week, including a nurse at the same hospital who said a family member of a patient under her care threatened her with a 10-inch knife, MyFox Boston reports.
The bill calls for Massachusetts hospitals to better secure facilities and implement policies and procedures to protect employees from on-the-job violence. It would require administrators to seek input from frontline healthcare workers.
The legislation would also go beyond employee training and require hospitals to identify and address risks. Risk assessment is key to addressing the growing problem of violence, as Fierce Healthcare previously reported. Hospital leaders must encourage emergency department nurses, who are frequently victims of violence,to report any incidents of physical and verbal assaults, according to one report.
Massachusetts isn't the only state considering legislation to address workplace violence. In Texas, Republican State Rep. Drew Springer, has proposed that staff and visitors be allowed to carry guns into hospitals to protect themselves, according to Kera News.