This looks like a very well planned project and it
was interesting to see that you have the questionnaire and the triage tool
ready. It is a very well needed project
to educate and empower the nurses to say being assaulted is not “part of the
job”. Staff safety is a priority while
respecting the patients’ “right to care”. The violence against Nurses law took
effect in New York on November 10, 2010.
According to Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA, 2010), violence against
Nurses law applies to physical assault, including spitting, biting, hitting,
and shoving. A physical assault against
a nurse on duty is a Class D felony, which is subject to a maximum of seven
years in prison (OSHA, 2010). Nurses
feel empowered knowing that they can press charges against anyone including
patient with mental illness. We have
postings in our ER saying, “It’s a felony to assault a nurse in New York”. As part of the Staff Wellness Program at our
hospital, we have staff safety coordinators (SSC), who will be notified if
there is an incident involving staff.
SSC will then facilitate the process of the incident reporting, taking
the staff to the ER, following up with staff after if they are out sick related
this incident, etc.