Violence against nurses and other health-care workers by patients is a serious problem but the B.C. Nurses’ Union, tired of waiting for health officials to deal with it, is taking unilateral steps to protect its members.
The 42,000-member union announced Tuesday it will pursue legal action on behalf of any nurse who authorizes it, including pressing charges against the attacker.
The union, which is holding its annual convention in Vancouver this week, says it has also set up a 24-hour toll-free hotline for nurses to report abuse.
Union president Gayle Duteil told CKNW’s Simi Sara Show that nurses are often expected to shake off the slaps, punches and scratches they get from unruly or mentally disturbed patients.
"Nurse managers are often, ‘well you just have to get used to it.’ It’s an expectation of the job," she told the radio open-line host.
Duteil said 55 per cent of workplace violence claims filed with WorkSafe BC involve health-care workers, a figure she believes underestimatesRead More »from B.C. nurses vow to take patient violence to court