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Violence Should Never Be Part of the Job

When healthcare workers show up to work, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether a patient is going to hurt them. Violence should never be a part of the job.

Workplace violence has touched the lives of many of our members. One of them, Patricia "Patt" Moon-Updike, RN, will be testifying before the U. S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Workplace Protections at the hearing entitled "Caring for Our Caregivers: Protecting Health Care and social Service Workers from Workplace Violence" this Wednesday, Febrary 27, 2019, in Washington, D.C., to tell her story.

"I have wanted to be a nurse since I was 9 years old. I was able to realize my dream of starting nursing school in my late 20's. I graduated nursing school in 2007 and secured a nursing position, finally becoming what I had always wanted to be. But on June 24, 2015, it all changed," said Patt. 

That was the day Patt was assualted by a patient. She was following protocol, but when only two security guards arrived to calm a deeply disturbed and violent patient, she had to get involved. She ended up with a lifelong injury. Read Patt's story here.

Like millions of frontline healthcare professionals, Patt didn't have the proper protections she deserved on the job. Legislation championed by our national union, AFT, and introduced by U.S. Rep Joe Courtney (D-Conn.)--the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act--will require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop protection measures and enforceable safety standards for our members and people who work in frontline healthcare jobs. 

As part of one of the largest healthcare unions in the country (AFT), our members have been striving to abate workplace violence for years. This bill is a chance to make a change and make us safer. But we will have to stand up and fight for its passage. You can help by urging your representative to co-sponsor this legislation.

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