GUELPH, ON, May 21, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) says that "enough is enough" regarding ongoing incidents of violence taking place daily in Ontario hospitals and is calling for Guelph General Hospital management to step up to the plate and take safety seriously.
"Our deepest condolences go to the family and friends of our patient," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.
"Our concern is with the ONA members who put themselves in harm's way to protect their patients, and who have been fighting for months to have appropriate security measures in place with no satisfactory action from the employer."
Violent incidents are taking place in our hospitals daily, including in ERs, cognitive units and mental health units," said Haslam-Stroud. "In the case of Guelph General Hospital, ONA has been raising the alarm about the lack of protective measures – including effective security – for some time. We know that appropriate security is one factor that is part of an effective anti-violence strategy. Safer working environments for registered nurses means safer care for patients. Following this serious incident, we are now questioning whether criminal charges should be laid against this employer, who – despite the warnings – had still failed to develop an antiviolence strategy."
Violence in health-care facilities is common, said Haslam-Stroud. "In the U.S., the statistics are shocking. More than half of all workplace violence is aimed at registered nurses.
"It's high time that Ontario followed the example of other jurisdictions, which have enacted legislation to ease compensation benefits for first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This incident underscores the fact that many of our members, not just police, fire and EMS, are too often exposed to workplace situations that lead to PTSD."
Haslam-Stroud said she and her members expect to see the Ministry of Labour apply the full force of the law in writing orders that will actually make a difference in the workplace.
ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line registered nurses and allied health professionals as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association