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NDP calls on government to tackle violence against health care workers

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

NDP Leader and Health Critic Gerry Rogers is celebrating the essential contributions of nurses to our health care system during National Nursing Week, May 7-13, while echoing the Registered Nurses’ Union’s comments that we need a provincial approach to deal with violence against health care workers.

Rogers says the results of NAPE’s survey of Licensed Practical Nurses are disturbing. NAPE’s survey of the over 1,500 nurses they represent across the province revealed how workload has increased significantly in the past five years. Health care units have become increasingly short-staffed, with respondents reporting that their units work with fewer staff members than required.

“Most concerning is that 85 per cent of respondents said they had been subjected to physical or verbal threats or acts of violence while on the job, and 62 per cent reported being injured in the workplace,” Rogers said.

“With one in five LPNs reporting feeling unsafe at work, we know there is something wrong,” Rogers said. “We need to ensure these workplaces are safe and healthy.”

Rogers says the Registered Nurses’ Union is calling attention to WorkplaceNL’s tracking of the occupations most at risk for violence in our province, with nursing staff making up 58 per cent of workers injured by violence.

“We must support our registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, personal care attendants, and all nursing and health care staff and ensure they have safe work environments,” said Rogers.

“This is something that must be tackled head on by government and the regional health authorities in close consultation with frontline workers and the unions that represent them,” Rogers said.

“Government must act to implement a violence prevention strategy for these essential workers.”

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