Economic Downturn May be Reflected in Increased Violence Against Nurses
The downturn in the economy may be resulting in more violence against health care professionals in general and nurses in particular. And as Charles Fishburne reports, Virginia nurses are looking for ways to defuse a potentially dangerous trend.
Nationally, violence reports have shot up from 16,000 in 2006 to 21,000 in 2008.
Mottley: We do have anecdotal evidence that that's happening in Virginia.
Susan Mottley is CEO of the Virginia Nurses Association.
Mottley: What the nurses tell us is that the patients that are coming into the hospital are sicker than they've ever been before.
And she says hard times seem to exacerbate the problem.
Mottley: One of the challenges that the nurses have, and the entire health care team has, is helping these families get the resources to deal with these increasingly sick patients, so I think that you could make the connection that, as times are tough and people are stressed out, that maybe it does manifest itself in more violence.
There are some 90,000 registered nurses in Virginia, and she says Emergency Department nurses and the Virginia Hospital and Health Care Association have put together a task force to look at the issue and see what, if any, additional protective measures need to be in place.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News