Emergency Room Nurses Continue Safety Campaign

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SACRAMENTO --

The Emergency Nurses Association is continuing legislative efforts to make their work environment safer.

This year Assembly member Freddie Rodriguez, an emergency medical technician for over 30 years, is sponsoring a bill that requires police to let emergency room nurses know when someone they bring in has a violent history.

Emergency department nurse and association President Janet Williams said last January she was escorting a patient who was high on drugs to the restroom.

"She was screaming, kicking, took a swing at me, missed me luckily," said Williams.

The group says they did a study that showed that ER nurses on average are verbally or physically assaulted at least once a week.

The nurses say they are trained to handle confrontations in a sometimes tense emergency room where patients or their families may be in emotional turmoil.

But they say a heads up when someone is brought to them would make it safer for them, patients and other innocent bystanders who may be in the emergency room of a medical facility.

"It's just a basic common sense rule ... be aware that there could be an issue with this patient because he or she might have a history of violence," said Rodriguez.