SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois nurses would be better protected from workplace violence under legislation introduced Monday by state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego.
“In the last decade, workplace violence against nurses has increased at an alarming rate,” Kifowit said. “An attack on one nurse can endanger the lives of many patients in their care, so it’s critical that we take steps to ensure health care professionals are protected against violent individuals.”
Kifowit’s House Bill 4100 would require all facilities employing nurses to institute Workplace Violence Prevention Programs, including committees that are made up of nurses, doctors, administrators, and others who work at the facility charged with reviewing security issues, how to handle potentially violent patients, and establishing policies that ensure the reporting, recording, and monitoring of incidents. Kifowit’s bill is largely built off of recommendations from the 2016 Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers.
“Nurses advocate for patients. Yet, historically, nurses have suffered verbal and physical abuse from our patients and others. Who will advocate for nurses?” said Doris Carroll, vice president of the Illinois Nurses Association. “I would like to thank Representative Kifowit for introducing this legislation and bringing awareness to the issue of workplace safety for our nurses.”
Kifowit’s measure would also provide whistle-blower protections for nurses who file criminal complaints against individuals who attack them. This would protect nurse from backlash from their employers for reporting assaults.
“Unfortunately, far too often nurses feel intimidated about reporting workplace violence,” said Alice Johnson, executive director of the Illinois Nurses Association. “Representative Kifowit’s bill would provide nurses across Illinois with a safer workplace and help health care professionals better care for their patients.”
Visit Rep Kifowit’s website
200-1S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
1677 Montgomery Rd.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 585-1357 FAX