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Health Care Workers Increasingly Worried About Violence By Patients

Health care workers are increasingly worried about violence by patients, a problem on the rise nationwide, the Associated Press reports. The killing of Connecticut nurse Joyce Grayson at a halfway house for sex offenders in October caused alarm among peers and lawmakers, who renewed their yearslong pleas for better protections for home health care workers. They have called for sending them out with escorts and providing more information about patients amid a time of increasing violence against medical professionals in general. “It’s all nurses are thinking about right now, even the hospital nurses because they’ve had so many close calls,” said Connecticut state Sen. Martha Marx, a visiting nurse who is calling for changes in state and federal laws.

Marx said she was once sent to a home and didn’t find out until she talked to clients there that it was a residence for sex offenders. Often, if a nurse asks for a chaperone, the agency will simply reassign the work to another employee who won’t “make waves,” she said. Grayson’s death came about 11 months after another visiting nurse, Douglas Brant, was shot to death during a home visit in Spokane, Wash. — a killing that also drew calls for safety reforms, including federal standards on preventing workplace violence. While killings are rare, nursing industry groups say non-fatal violence against health care workers is not. From 2011 to 2018, the rate of non-fatal violence against health care workers increased more than 60%. In fact, the number of non-fatal injuries from workplace violence involving health care workers has been higher than that of other industries for years.


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