Letters to the Editor

Workplace violence: Nurses need more safeguards

Re: “Give nurses hope for safer job conditions,” (TNT editorial, 2/28).

As a registered nurse and a member of the Washington State Nurses Association, I appreciated this editorial recognizing that the Legislature should act on House Bill 1931, which addresses workplace violence in health care.

The experience of nurse assaults goes beyond psychiatric hospitals. Last fall, a WSNA nurse at Kadlec Medical Center in the Tri-Cities was nearly killed when a patient choked her.

The week before, two other nurses and a doctor were injured by a patient in the emergency room.

Nearly every nurse has a story of workplace violence.

HB 1931, which passed the House on March 6, begins to address the growing problem by ensuring each healthcare facility has a workplace violence prevention plan and training that includes de-escalation techniques and hands-on self-defense. On to the Senate!

I agree this bill is not a panacea, but we believe it is a sound starting point. Because in a healthcare workplace, violence is not an “if” but a “when.”

Tami Green, Lakewood

(Green is a former member of the Washington state House.)