Nurses are advocating for increased security in healthcare facilities following the tragic shooting of two healthcare professionals at a hospital in Dallas.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Flowers worked as a nurse and Pokuaa worked as a social worker. According to authorities, a suspect allegedly shot and killed 63-year-old Katie Flowers and 45-year-old Jacqueline Pokuaa in the maternity unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.
According to reports from the media, Hernandez, who was on parole for a conviction of aggravated assault, was granted authorization to be present at the hospital due to his girlfriend going into labor. The individual in question, Nestor Hernandez, who is 30 years old, was wounded by a police officer stationed at the hospital and is currently under arrest, as stated by the authorities.
Healthcare organizations and doctors have lamented the increase in violence in hospitals, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, in recent years. Nurses have said that some nurses driving is causing an uptick in violence. Steps are being taken to make hospitals safer, such as calling and speaking up.
National Nurses United, a labor organization with approximately 225,000 members, is advocating for laws to support the safety of healthcare professionals.
In a statement, Jean Ross, RN, the president of National Nurses United, expressed our sorrow for the tragic death of a nurse and a healthcare worker. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families and colleagues at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. It is essential that healthcare settings prioritize healing over harm. No one should lose their life due to the work they do.
“In the declaration, Ross stated, ‘the need for urgent legislative action to ensure the safety of our caregivers, patients, and other healthcare staff in every member family is increasing, as this unimaginable tragedy serves as a stark reminder of workplace violence in the healthcare industry.'”
Methodist Health System, which operates Methodist Dallas Medical Center, stated this week that it has augmented the police presence at the hospital. The health system emphasized that its police force is composed of extensively trained personnel.
The ongoing active shooter training and security measures have been increased, with recently installed external and internal camera systems, according to the medical center. The Methodist Health System said that security procedures and safety drills will be evaluated and conducted daily on all campuses of the system.
Two nurses attacked every hour.
Groups of nursing professionals have called on lawmakers to take action in order to protect the healthcare workers and nurses. The Texas Nurses Association stated in a statement that they aim to make it a priority in the upcoming legislative session, despite having little success in the past. They emphasized that they have been working with lawmakers on improving workplace safety.
After the incident in Dallas, Serena Bumpus, the CEO of the Texas Nurses Association, conveyed in a statement, “This is unacceptable.”
Bumpus stated, “We trust that our lawmakers comprehend the importance of safeguarding our healthcare professionals.” “Nobody should have to worry about their safety while simply carrying out their duties, particularly nurses and healthcare providers whose dedication lies in aiding others in their recovery.”
Nurses have been vocal about speaking out against the increasing violence they are seeing in reports and surveys, putting more perspective on the hazards they face.
As per a recent report by Press Ganey, there are 57 incidents of assault occurring daily, with over two nurses being subjected to assault every hour.
About half of all hospital nurses (48%) said workplace violence is increasing, according to a National Nurses United poll in the spring.
The United Nurses National is pushing Congress to approve legislation that would require social and healthcare organizations to create plans to prevent workplace violence.
The previous year, a comparable bill was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, which was supported by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn. Over 30 senators have partnered with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., In introducing the bill that instructs the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to mandate the development of such proposals.
The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee in June. The legislation would impose tougher penalties on those who intimidate and attack health system employees. U.S. Representative Larry Bucshon, a Republican doctor from Indiana, and U.S. Representative Madeleine Dean, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, introduced the SAVE Employees Healthcare for Violence From Safety Act.
The American Hospital Association has endorsed the House bill, which Merrick Garland, the U.S. Attorney General, urged to strengthen protections for hospital workers by sending a letter in March.
Establishing a culture of security.
In a recent blog post, Robyn Begley, the chief nursing officer for the American Hospital Association and CEO of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, along with Nancy MacRae, the CEO of the Emergency Nurses Association, discussed various measures that hospitals can implement in order to minimize instances of workplace aggression, according to nursing professionals.
Strategies aimed at reducing violence should incorporate health systems that are based on evidence and advocate for guidelines for personnel. By reporting incidents of violence, staff members demonstrate their dedication to establishing a culture of safety that enhances the reputation of hospitals and health systems.
Begley and MacRae stated that nurses should receive assistance in speaking out. Nurses and nursing professionals claim that numerous nurses refrain from reporting the abuse they experience.
“While workers have long accepted violence as an unavoidable part of their job, it is never acceptable to be yelled at or, even worse, intimidated, harassed, hit, kicked, or shoved.”
Leaving hospitals, or nursing altogether, some nurses have shown it’s driving, and burnout is adding to the increased violence, nurses have said.
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses released a report in August, stating that less than half (47%) of nurses believe their organization places importance on their health and safety. Over the course of three years, two out of three nurses are contemplating quitting their current positions. Among those nurses considering leaving, 36% expressed their intention to do so within a year.
Jenn Schmitz, president of the Emergency Nurses Association, stated earlier this week that healthcare professionals motivated by a commitment to assisting others should not have to be concerned about their own safety or whether they will return home after their shift.
“Mindless” brutality in Dallas took the lives of two medical professionals, lamented by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses in a tweet.
The group’s post also included a message: “Put an end to violence in the workplace. Immediately.”