Connecticut Hospital Association announces new violence policy to protect healthcare workers

WALLINGFORD — Injuries are common in emergency rooms, but they aren’t always the only ones injured.

Teresa Marx, a charge nurse at UConn Health, said she has witnessed attacks on colleagues in the four years she has worked in the emergency room. She said some of her colleagues kicked her in the head. One person punched her in the face and required stitches.

Marx added that during triage, he was held at knife point and had a urinal thrown at him. She was said to be “prejudiced” and she even received a visit from the police.

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t come into the emergency room knowing that we’re going to face some kind of violence, whether it’s physical violence or verbal abuse from patients,” she said. .

Like Marx, health care workers across the country are also seeing an increase in violence.

In 2018, the health care and social services industry was five times more likely to suffer a workplace violence injury than the overall workforce and had the highest rate of workplace violence injuries, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor. statistics.

In response, the Connecticut Hospital Association held a press conference Friday morning at its Wallingford headquarters to announce a new code of conduct policy for patients and families.

Jennifer Jackson, the association’s CEO, said that while Connecticut hospitals have long worked to support safe workplaces for both caregivers and patients, the new policy is He said it was part of an ongoing response to reduce rising violence.

“Adopting a statewide policy makes it even clearer that Connecticut’s hospitals are united against violence and will not relent in our efforts to ensure the safety of everyone in our state’s hospitals. “It became,” she said.

The new code of conduct will apply to the association’s 27 acute care hospitals in Connecticut and several health systems including inpatient, outpatient, office-based and home health facilities. Offensive or violent conduct, threats, abusive language, discriminatory language, sexual harassment, and weapons are prohibited.

The new policy does not list any potential consequences other than being asked to leave the facility. But Ina Williams, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Yale-New Haven Hospital, called the uniform policy “a bold step.”

He explained that the policy is not aimed at patients who are unable to control their behavior while undergoing treatment. Instead, she said the code of conduct aims to address intolerance against health workers by creating a safer environment in which they can provide quality care.

“There is a shortage of health care workers,” she said. “We have the expertise, we have the knowledge, we have the skills, we have the tools, we have the talent, we have the ability. But when you’re constantly exposed to that kind of behavior, you don’t make the most of it.” We can’t perform. It’s a problem we face in our community.”

lguzman@record-journal.comTwitter: @lguzm_n

Rau Guzman, a reporter from the Latino community, is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. Please support RFA He Record-Journal’s Report-Journal Reporter through a donation at For more information about RFA, please visit

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