Violence against nurses, physicians continues during pandemic, according to No Silence on ED Violence campaign
WASHINGTON, DC and SCHAUMBURG, Ill (Feb. 24, 2021) –The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) praise the introduction of Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act of 2021 which aims to better protect health care workers from the ongoing threat of workplace violence.
“Emergency nurses and physicians go to work every day driven by their commitment to caring for patients – they shouldn’t have to do so with fear of being violently attacked,” said ENA President Ron Kraus, MSN, RN, EMT, CEN, ACNS-BC, TCRN. “This legislation takes a positive step toward protecting the safety of all emergency health care providers.”
The problem has not subsided amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The No Silence on ED Violence campaign, organized by ENA and ACEP, continues to share stories of front-line health care workers who suffer physical and emotional injuries after workplace assaults.
“Violent incidents that put health workers at risk are on the rise,” said Mark Rosenberg, DO, MBA, FACEP, president of ACEP. “This bipartisan bill is a strong demonstration of congressional commitment to the safety of emergency physicians and others risking their lives on the frontlines. This bill is going to help strengthen workplace safety standards, enhance incident prevention, and allows our health care heroes to focus more on their mission to care for patients during the pandemic and beyond.”
ACEP and ENA thank Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and the bipartisan coalition of original bill sponsors, including Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC), Chairwoman of the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) for continuing to make workplace violence against health care workers a legislative priority.
ENA and ACEP have supported workplace violence-related bills introduced in previous sessions of Congress. Members from each association traveled to Capitol Hill in recent years to directly tell legislators their stories of attacks, injuries, and the aftermath caused by violence in the emergency department.
The associations launched No Silence on ED Violence in 2019 to build awareness around the issue of workplace violence, while also providing resources and a peer network to support emergency nurses and physicians.