“Today’s announcement that the Victorian Government will beef up security across 44 hospital sites is very welcome,” Australian College of Nursing Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.
“We must care for those who care for us, and just one incident of violence against our doctors, nurses and other members of the health care team is one too many.”
The Australian College of Nursing calls on other states and territories to follow Victoria’s lead and focus on keeping health professionals and patients safe.
It is estimated that up to 95 per cent of healthcare workers have experienced physical or verbal attacks while carrying out their life-saving work.
“While funding for hospital guards has an important role to play, ACN has been calling for nation-wide reduction strategies which stem more from a preventative rather than a reactive approach, which clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, from perpetrators, clinicians and organisations, to the police and justice system,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
“I note Victoria’s Code Grey policy is designed to guide how hospitals prevent, respond and reduce violence against health care workers, patients and visitors.”
Over the last 18 months, the Australian College of Nursing has made submissions to and met with state government representatives on this vital issue.
“Governments need to remember hospitals are not the only place where health professionals, including nurses, work,” Adjunct Professor Ward stated.
“We must also protect those working across the broad scope of practice, including in rural and remote Australia, general practices, correction facilities, and aged care.
“We must ensure that zero tolerance for violence is reality, not just rhetoric.
“Nurses have told us that aggression and violence can feel like an inevitable consequence of working in health care and that’s just not good enough.
Exposure to violence and aggression should never be accepted as an acceptable part of anyone’s work. It is not ‘part of the job’.”