ANA Applauds Passage of Workplace Violence Prevention Legislation
Shannon McClendon, 301-628-5391
Keziah Proctor, 301-628-5197
SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309). This legislation will require employers to implement comprehensive plans that protect health care professionals from violence in the workplace and prohibit acts of retaliation that discourage reporting of violent incidents.
“Nurses face varying degrees of physical and verbal abuse in health care settings across the country. This is not OK. Nurses should never have to fear for their safety when they deliver patient care,” said ANA President Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Workplace cultures that discourage nurses from reporting incidences of violence for fear of retribution and retaliation continue to be at the heart of this issue. Any barriers that impede reporting hamper progress to address workplace violence despite the presence of “zero tolerance” policies. This bill helps reinforce the urgency for employers to implement plans that establish processes for reporting to better protect and empower their staff. ANA is indebted to the members of Congress who remain steadfast in addressing this public health issue. This bill is a step towards meaningful progress to end workplace violence in health care.”
Workplace violence continues to be a critical issue in the today’s health care system and for nurses. In a 2019 survey of over 5,000 nurses, 59% said they have been verbally assaulted by a patient and 1 in 4 have been physically assaulted by a patient. Safe work environments and quality care are critical in order to promote positive health outcomes for patients and communities. When health care workers are safe, patients and communities can achieve better health outcomes. ANA works to address work place violence through #EndNurseAbuse – a social movement that puts the spotlight on these alarming and frequent incidents and encourages nurses and patients to take a stand.