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Workplace Violence Toolkit

In the News

The following media articles appeared during 2018.


Workplace violence has become No.1 issue in health care, union says

January 2018. Staffing levels inadequate to deal with rising incidents, union says. More than anything right now, members of PEI Union of Public Sector Employees who work in health care want something done about workplace violence, says the union’s president. CBC News

Sherbrooke nurse’s cry for help on social media prompts response from health minister

January 2018. Sherbrooke nurse Émilie Ricard’s social media post has been shared over 50,000 times in two days and blames Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette for poor working conditions. CBC News

Hospital (in)security: Anatomy of an attack at Montreal General

January 2018. Reduced staffing, missing patient details and an unpredictable aggressive patient turned an overnight shift into a nearly fatal encounter at the Montreal General Hospital. Montreal Gazette

Addressing hospital violence a priority for Health Sciences North

January 2018. Health Sciences North is looking at ways to tackle workplace violence against its staff, following a call to action from the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions. The CBC’s Benjamin Aubé spoke to the chief operating officer at Health Sciences North, Joe Pilon. CBC News

'It is heartbreaking': Violence at Winnipeg nursing homes causes 500 injuries to residents in 2 years

January 2018. Residents are routinely assaulting other residents and staff in Manitoba personal care homes. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority reported 504 cases of assault by a resident, which resulted in injury to another resident and 965 injuries to staff members. CBC News

Rise in hospital violence worries MNU

January, 2018. Sandi Mowat, MNU President, is concerned about an increase in the number of violent interactions with patients due to drug use — specifically, crystal methamphetamine. Brandon Sun

Government aims for harassment-free workplace with new policy

February 2018. The Newfoundland and Labrador government has announced a broad new policy it says will make government workplaces harassment-free. CBC News

Angry Quebec nurses push for lower patient ratios, less overtime

February 2018. Nurses have taken to social media and protests to vent their frustrations. The head of a provincial nurses’ union is once again calling on the health minister to lower nurse‑to‑patient ratios and end the practice of mandatory overtime. CTV News

Quebec nurses break silence after buckling under the strain of horrible conditions

February 2018. Health care working conditions have been steadily deteriorating, and the latest rounds of budget cuts implemented by the Quebec Liberals in 2015 have resulted in a triple whammy of increased workloads, increased implementation of forced overtime, and the gradual increase of nurse-patient ratios. National Observer

Accepting violence in P.E.I. health care: ‘the culture needs to change.’

February 2018. Mona O’Shea, the President of Prince Edward Island Nurses’ Union, calls for the ‘de‑normalization’ of violence in the health care workplace. The culture needs to change, says O’Shea. The Guardian

Quebec commits to easing nurses’ workloads with major reform

March 2018. Nurses’ workloads are expected to ease considerably in the coming years following a major reform of patient-nurse ratios announced by Quebec Minister of Health. CTV News

‘I’ve been kicked in the throat’: Saskatchewan health care workers give glimpse into violence at work

March 2018. Getting punched, kicked and spat on by patients are just some of the things frontline health care workers say they face on a regular basis across Saskatchewan. Between 70% and 80% of violent incidents don’t get reported, says head of province’s nurses’ union. CBC News

Pregnant nurse injured in attack by patient, Nova Scotia union says

April 2018. A pregnant nurse was injured this week after being attacked while on duty at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth, her union says. CTV News

N.B. nurses’ union wants burnout issues addressed

April 2018. The New Brunswick Nurses Union is calling for a better system to be put in place to address nursing burnout in hospital wards across the province. Telegraph Journal

Increased violence at Saskatchewan health care facilities prompts security review

April 2018. An increase of violent incidents at health care facilities in the province has prompted the Saskatchewan Health Authority to hire an external consultant to perform a security review. Regina Leader-Post

Nurses and PTSD Treatment Access

May 2018. Christine Sorensen, president of the B.C. Nurses Union, Tania Dick, president of the Association of Registered Nurses of B.C., Bernie Pauly, nursing professor at University of Victoria and scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Abuse Research, and Elizabeth Saewyc, director of UBC School of Nursing on access to PTSD support for nurses. BC Almanac. CBC Player.

Hospital (in)security: New safety concerns arise at Montreal General

June 2018. Montreal General Hospital reports far more violent incidents involving patients and visitors than any other acute care hospital in Quebec, yet it provides less security than comparable health institutions. Montreal Gazette

Hospital (in)security: Montreal General scales back Code White training plan

June 2018.  The McGill University Health Centre is scaling back ambitious plans to train nurses and other staff at the Montreal General Hospital in crisis de-escalation despite the near-strangulation of a nurse by a patient in the psychiatric ER last September. Montreal Gazette

Hospital (in)security: When a nurse is attacked, others suffer, too

June 2018. Statistics show that PTSD is a side effect of working in health care – the most violent workplace of all. Montreal Gazette

Province hopes to free up police by offloading potentially violent patients on nurses: union

June 2018. Manitoba’s largest union representing health care workers says a provincial program to train nurses and health care aides is troubling because health care staff who go through the training could be expected to intervene in violent situations. CBC News

2 nurses sent to ER after assaults at B.C. psychiatric hospital

August 2018. B.C. nurses are calling for immediate action after two serious assaults at Coquitlam’s Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in just over a week. CBC News

Nurse who witnessed murder-suicide speaking out about domestic, workplace violence

November 2018. Lori Chaffey shares the story of her co-worker Stephanie Chaisson, who was killed at the clinic in which they worked in Newfoundland in 2012. CBC News

House Democrats introduce a bill to protect millions of health care workers.

November 2018. A group of House Democrats introduced a bill on Friday to help protect millions of nurses and other health care workers from the high rates of violence they experience on the job. Nurses and social workers are more likely to get attacked on the job than police officers. The new bill, called the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, would require hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers, mental health providers, and jails to develop a workplace safety plan to protect their workers from violence they experience at the hands of patients. The bill would also require employers to record and investigate all complaints of violence, and prohibits retaliation against employees who call 911. Vox.