Nurse stabbings raise questions on hospital violence

Violence against workers continues to plague U.S. hospitals, with two separate stabbings injuring two nurses in Los Angeles, one of them critically.

Police said Romero Carnalla of Los Angeles allegedly bypassed the weapons screening area at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar and stabbed a nurse several times in the torso, according to the Associated Press. Police took Carnalla into custody and recovered the knife used in the stabbing. The nurse is in critical condition at the hospital, according to the article.

Later that morning, another man, Thomas Fredette of Santee, walked into Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, grabbed a nurse and stabbed her in the ear with a sharp object, which police later determined was a pencil, the Associated Press reported. The nurse was treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Police are still investigating the motives for both attacks but don't believe the incidents are linked, according to the article.

Only a handful of states require that employers run workplace violence programs, study the issue or report incidents, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington, according to NursingWorld.org.

Twenty states increased penalties for assaults on nurses, while Hawaii even passed a resolution urging employers to develop and implement standards of conduct and policies for managers and employees to reduce workplace bullying, according to the website. NursingWorld also provides states with a model state bill for violence prevention in healthcare facilities.

Exempla St. Joseph Hospital in Colorado equipped 45 employees with pendants around their necks, allowing them to signal for security during high-risk situations at just a touch of a button.

Earlier this month, two nurses in New York City were assaulted, leaving one of them with a critical head injury, prompting a call for further nurse education and training on recognizing potentially violent patients, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the article
- read the NursingWorld statistics
- check out the model bill

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