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BC Nurses Call on Government to Provide Properly Trained Security Officers at Worksites

  • News Release
BCNU says there are a number of examples where extra security is  making it safer for nurses and patients

From the Kelowna General Hospital’s emergency room to Coquitlam’s Forensics Psychiatric Hospital, the BC Nurses’ Union says it’s seeing positive results from a number of sites that have added high-quality security personnel.

However, BCNU President Christine Sorensen says it’s time the government steps up and provides funding for health authorities to add 24-hour security at all worksites, across the province.

“Increased security presence at worksites is needed in order to keep nurses and patients safe. We’ve asked nurses and we’ve looked at our survey data. The facts show that having security officers available who can respond quickly and effectively, drastically improves the culture of the worksite for both patients and nurses.”

Hundreds of nurses rallied at Jack Poole Plaza on Thursday, calling on the government to provide properly trained security officers at worksites across BC.

Last year, a partnership between BCNU and Interior Health brought two full-time security officers to the busy Kelowna General emergency room. Since then, BCNU says nurses have reached out to say they feel safer.

But the statistics paint a grim picture of the overall problem of violence in health care. Injuries due to violence have been steadily increasing year over year. In BC, the number of violent incidents reported at health care workplaces increased by 52 per cent between 2014 and 2018.

“On average, 26 nurses per month suffer a violent injury at work in BC ,” says Sorensen. “We need to change this statistic and we will continue to demand that the model of adding properly trained security staff in a variety of health care facilities is implemented across BC.”

To set up an interview, please contact Katharine Kitts at 604.220.9815.

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