This looks likea very well planned project and it was interesting to see that you have thequestionnaire and the triage tool ready. It is a very well needed project to educate and empower the nurses tosay being assaulted is not “part of the job”. Staff safety is a priority while respecting the patients’ “right tocare”. The violence against Nurses law took effect in New York on November 10,2010. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, 2010), violence against Nurses law applies tophysical assault, including spitting, biting, hitting, and shoving. A physical violence against a nurse on dutyis a Class D felony, which is subject to a maximum of seven years in prison (OSHA,2010).
Nurses feel empowered knowingthat they can press charges against anyone including a patient with mentalillness. We have postings in our ERsaying, “It’s a felony to assault a nurse in New York”. As part of the Staff Wellness Program at ourhospital, we have staff safety coordinators (SSC), who will be notified ifthere is an incident involving staff. SSC will then facilitate the process of the incident reporting, takingthe staff to the ER, following up with staff after if they are out sick relatedthis incident, etc.