Emergency rooms is where you go to relieve the hurt, although for many healthcare providers, it can be a painful experience. University Medical Center's emergency center averages two assaults on nurses and other health care providers about twice a week by the patients.
A new bill that just passed the house and senate will inflict much more serious legal pain on those who assault medical care workers. If Governor Perry signs the bill, the class A misdemeanor would be upgraded to a third degree felony for assaults committed on health care personnel during the delivery of care to a patient. That means serious jail time. Eric Finley is the UMC spokesperson.
"We hope that the security presence we already have in the hospital, especially with LPD and the assistance they give us here in the emergency room is deterrent enough. But this is just another layer of safety for our staff so we welcome that."
Creators of the bill hope this legislation will not only protect health care workers, but also help limit nursing shortages.