Health care funding cuts leading to insufficient staffing levels are contributing to an epidemic of workplace violence against nurses
TORONTO, Jan. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Another registered nurse (RN) was beaten and critically injured while providing nursing care to her patient at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) this week.
This workplace violence incident occurred on Monday, December 29, but in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), the employer did not notify the Ministry of Labour until Tuesday, nearly a day later.
Section 51(1) of the OHSA requires all employers to "immediately" notify the Ministry and union representatives when a worker is "critically injured from any cause at a workplace."
"Nurses working at CAMH began last year witnessing the brutal beating of one of their colleagues, and it is incredibly frustrating that nothing has changed since then," said Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, President of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA).
In response to the latest attack, the employer has temporarily placed a security guard to work side-by-side with the front-line health care staff in this unit and has temporarily scheduled "additional" nursing staff there.
"Insufficient funding for hospitals is contributing to nurses experiencing an epidemic of workplace violence across Ontario," said Haslam-Stroud.
CAMH was charged in 2008 under the OHSA for the 2007 workplace beating of nurses. The employer pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2009.
Two days before Christmas, the Ministry laid OHSA charges against the same employer for the brutal beating of a nurse in January 2014.
"Violence should not be part of our jobs," said Haslam-Stroud. "Obviously the present risk prevention strategies are not enough to keep our nurses safe. We're calling on employers and the government to stop this unnecessary violence against the nurses of Ontario."
At approximately 12:00 p.m. on Monday, an RN was caring for a patient in a medium security unit at the CAMH's Queen Street site when the patient pushed her down and punched her in the head several times. The nurse was transported for medical care at an acute care hospital emergency department. A security guard normally monitors 12 cameras in this unit from a desk. There was a quick response from security when they were called by the other staff who heard the injured RN scream.
The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext.2430; cell: (416) 986-8240, [email protected]; Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses