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ENA in the News

ENA, ACEP Push for Swift Passage of Workplace Violence Legislation

May 4, 2022 Advocacy American College of Emergency Physicians Emergency Nurses Association Workplace Violence

Emergency nurses and physicians call for end to attacks on health care workers

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 4, 2022) – Leaders and members of the Emergency Nurses Association and American College of Emergency Physicians called on Congress Wednesday to pass legislation aimed at reducing violence against health care workers.

Emergency nurses and physicians from the two organizations – which partnered in 2019 on the No Silence on ED Violence campaign – spoke during a Capitol Hill event to raise awareness about the frequency of attacks within the emergency department and to push the Senate to move forward with the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., who will be the bill’s lead sponsor, joined the event to express strong support for the dozens of emergency nurses and physicians in attendance, and the thousands across the country, who consistently face the threat of violence in the emergency department.

ENA and ACEP have been longtime proponents of legislation aimed at mitigating workplace violence and strengthening criminal penalties for anyone who assaults a health care worker. The current bill – which passed the House in April 2021 and was introduced in the Senate this week by Baldwin – focuses on directing OSHA to require employers to develop and implement workplace violence prevention plans focused on the safety of health care workers and patients.

“Every emergency nurse has lived through the physical and emotional pain caused by violence in the emergency department. When these incidents are dismissed as ‘part of the job,’ it minimizes the human toll on health care professionals who are injured merely because they went to work to care for patients,” said ENA President Jennifer Schmitz, MSN, EMT-P, CEN, CPEN, CNML, FNP-C, NE-BC. “When we say No Silence on ED Violence, it’s a call for more health care professionals to speak up about their experiences so that hospital leaders, law enforcement, prosecutors and legislators cannot ignore the chorus calling for change. Sen. Baldwin is helping lead the way toward meaningful, long-term solutions when it comes to workplace violence and, for that, ENA is thankful to her and her congressional colleagues for standing with us.”

ACEP President Gillian Schmitz, MD, FACEP, emphasized the legislation’s importance to health care workers and patient care.

“The pandemic continues to show everyone how vital emergency care can be, but it has only exacerbated many of the factors that contribute to violence in the emergency department,” Dr. Schmitz said. “The health care professionals in our nation’s emergency departments are fully dedicated to caring for patients and saving lives. Now Congress has a critical opportunity to pass legislation to protect each of them from violent attacks on the job.”

The bill provides fundamental support to protect health care workers victimized by violence on the job, according to Baldwin.

“Our nurses, doctors, social services workers and health care professionals deserve to work in a safe environment free from violence,” Baldwin said. “Health care workers have faced unprecedented obstacles just to stay healthy and do their jobs through the pandemic, and on top of it all, they have seen senseless violence against them. It is unacceptable and we must provide basic protections and safety standards to a workforce that serves people during some of their most vulnerable times.”

Learn more about the No Silence on ED Violence campaign by visiting stopedviolence.org.

Press Room Topics

All #GivingSeason AACN AAMC AANP Academy of Emergency Nursing Achievement Awards Adult Advanced Practice Advancing the Conversation Advocacy AEN American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners American Academy of Pediatrics American College of Emergency Physicians American Nurses Association APRN Awards Board of Directors Brand Center Cannabis Career Development Carolyn Jones CDC Conference continuing education COVID-19 Day on the Hill DEI Disaster Preparedness Documentary Donations eBooks Education election results Emergency Department Emergency Nurse Project Emergency Nurse Residency Program Emergency Nurses Emergency Nurses Association Emergency Nurses Week Emergency Nursing Emergency Nursing 2021 Emergency Nursing 2022 Emergency Severity Index EMS EMSC EN Week ENA ENA Connection 20 Under 40 ENA Foundation ENA Podcast ENA Research ENA University ENPC ENStrong Events Fall Regional Symposium federal news Firearms Firearms Injury Prevention Geriatric Giving Season Giving Tuesday Government Relations Guidelines Hall of Honor Healthy Work Environment Human Trafficking Immunizations In Case of Emergency Industry Partner Infectious Diseases Injury Prevention insurance International JEN journal of emergency nursing Lantern Award Legislation MedEvac Mednition Membership Mission Zero MPL Association NAPNAP Nashville News No Silence on ED Violence Novel coronavirus Online Education Opioid Orlando PAHPA Patient Safety Pediatric pediatric emergency care Personal Protective Equipment Position Statement PPE Presentation Press Release Research Resources Scholarships snakebites Staffing standing orders State Achievement State Council Achievement Awards State Fundraising Challenge Suicide thank you Title VIII TNCC Trauma Trauma Nursing Core Course Triage Vaccination Washington DC Webinar Wellness Workplace Violence