Professional activism is the engagement of skilled and competent professionals utilizing strategic campaigning to achieve a goal. In nursing, it is nurses coming together to assess a need and identify the problem, design and implement a plan to address the issue, evaluate that plan, and repeat until the problem is solved.
Nurses should not have to risk their personal safety just to do their jobs of giving patients the very best care. #
Yet, nurse abuse and violence against nurses is a growing problem across the nation. According to the American Nurses Association, 1 in 4 nurses has been assaulted at work. The likelihood of health care workers being exposed to violence is higher than prison guards or police officers.
We advocate for stronger workplace violence protection laws at the state level and partner with ANA on efforts to raise awareness and implement better policies at the federal level.
Current initiatives #
We’re working to educate nurses on the state’s updated workplace violence prevention law, monitor its proper implementation and ensure nurses know the best practices to keep themselves safe.
Legislation and policy #
We work with state legislators to ensure the strongest possible protections for nurses.
Recent achievements include:
2019 Workplace Violence in Health Care bill, which updates workplace violence provisions related to planning and training in Washington’s workplace violence in health care law.
Research and resources #
Government agencies and organizations at the state and federal levels have researched and developed best practices for addressing violence in the workplace. We’ve gathered the most useful resources to help you understand the issue, advocate for safer workplaces and protect yourselves.
Latest news #
Incident reporting is a powerful source of information. When used effectively, it provides a factual description of an adverse event or near miss that supports learning, safety and improved care quality. Most health care entities utilize an electronic incident reporting system to identify opportunities for improvement.
As a general matter, the law does not afford employees the right to walk off the job because of unsafe conditions in the workplace. However, a situation may arise in which a nurse is confronted with an immediate choice between not performing an assignment or being subjected to a real risk of serious injury or death arising from a hazardous workplace condition.
Each employer has a duty to provide a workplace that is free of known dangers that may harm employees. Like all workers, you have the right to working conditions that are free of known health and safety hazards.
The state Department of Labor and Industries on April 11 cited and fined St. Joseph Medical Center Tacoma for safety violations related to a series of attacks on nurses at the hospital. L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health launched an investigation at the request of WSNA after a patient in the psychiatric unit assaulted numerous nurses in October 2018.
Have you ever experienced a violent incident or assault at work? Is needed personal protective equipment (PPE) readily accessible? Is lift equipment for safe patient handling available on each acute care unit? WSNA’s Health and Safety Survey is a critical first step in making your workplace safer and healthier.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is considering whether to develop a new standard to prevent workplace violence in health care and social-assistance settings. The agency has issued a public Request for Information on the extent and nature of workplace violence in the industry and the effectiveness and feasibility of methods used to prevent such violence.
In the last year, report finds that 30% of workers in hospitals reported being physically assaulted; 70% of workers in psychiatric settings also experienced violence.