Workplace Violence – Take the Survey Today!

June 2014

Health care workers from the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) launched a campaign against workplace violence in an effort to improve work environments. Assaults in hospitals, especially in emergency rooms, are a very common occurrence but little has been done to regulate safety for health care workers. In May 2014, a study of the incidence and cost of nurse workplace violence by patients or their visitors found that 97% of those surveyed who worked in an emergency room had experienced workplace violence, compared to 73% of non-emergency nurses. On June 19, 2014, UNAC/UHCP nurses traveled to Sacramento to testify in front of the California Occupational Safety Administration (Cal/OSHA) Health Standards board on workplace violence in hospitals. In this video, UNAC/UHCP members who testified at the hearing shared with us their reasons for taking a stand against workplace violence.

Health care workers are not only at risk of becoming injured or verbally assaulted, but they are also responsible for the safety of other patients. “With very real attacks occurring so frequently, threats and violence cause tremendous stress to health care providers,” said UNAC/UHCP Vice President Denise Duncan, RN. A safer work environment for health care workers becomes a safer environment for patients. In the video, Kefelegn Workie, an RN at Kaiser Sunset, lists the multiple injuries he has suffered as a result of workplace violence including a broken wrist and lacerations to the head, and he calls for “special legislation and regulation to protect us in our workplace.”

If you are wondering how you can help with this campaign, here are some ways you can become involved:

1. Take the survey now to share your experience: unacuhcp.org/wpvsurvey/

2. If you’ve already filled out the survey, email wpv@unacuhcp.org to find out about upcoming opportunities to participate in the campaign, be it lobbying or testifying in Sacramento, helping your coworkers to take the workplace violence survey, or sharing your story with members of the community.

3. Text WPV to 411247 to receive text alerts on the campaign.