Hi Tara,This looks like a very well planned project and itwas interesting to see that you have the questionnaire and the triage toolready. It is a very well needed projectto educate and empower the nurses to say being assaulted is not “part of thejob”. Staff safety is a priority whilerespecting the patients’ “right to care”. The violence against Nurses law tookeffect in New York on November 10, 2010. According to Occupational Safetyand Health Administration (OSHA, 2010), violence againstNurses law applies to physical assault, including spitting, biting, hitting,and shoving. A physical assault againsta nurse on duty is a Class D felony, which is subject to a maximum of sevenyears in prison (OSHA, 2010).
Nursesfeel empowered knowing that they can press charges against anyone includingpatient with mental illness. We havepostings in our ER saying, “It’s a felony to assault a nurse in New York”. As part of the Staff Wellness Program at ourhospital, we have staff safety coordinators (SSC), who will be notified ifthere is an incident involving staff. SSC will then facilitate the process of the incident reporting, takingthe staff to the ER, following up with staff after if they are out sick relatedthis incident, etc.