Following months of concerted effort to develop an action plan to tackle unacceptable levels of violence against nurses, BCNU President Gayle Duteil joined Health Minister Terry Lake in announcing a $1.56-million violence-reduction plan on August 6th.
The initial work will focus on four high-risk hospital sites – Abbotsford Regional Hospital, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (Coquitlam), Hillside Centre (Kamloops) and Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health (Saanich) – that will receive key safety upgrades to make the delivery of care safer for nurses and patients.
Selected from a list of twelve high-priority sites across BC, the hospitals will see improved security systems and personal alarms, better training in violence de-escalation techniques and code white drills, and in some cases, staffing increases including more nurses, mental health workers or trained security personnel.
President Duteil called the initiative a good first step but only the beginning of comprehensive efforts to minimize the risk of violence faced by nurses at all of BC’s over 700 care-delivery sites. BCNU expects to see action on the eight other identified high-risk sites in the near future.
The Ministry of Health and BCNU each put $1-million into a fund to finance measures to reduce the potential for violence and injury to nurses in the health care workplace. BCNU’s share comes from money negotiated in the last collective agreement for violence prevention initiatives.
Projects are tailored to the unique needs of each of the four sites, based on recommendations made by local nurses and managers. The impacts on minimizing risk will be carefully monitored with a view to scaling up those that are most successful.
BCNU will continue working with the Ministry of Health to improve the health care workplace until every nurse in the province feels safe while on the job.
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