Lansing hospital deals with violence against workers on daily basis

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Violence against nurses and health care workers has become incredibly common, according to some Sparrow Hospital officials.

Amy Brown, the Chief of Nursing at Sparrow said she thinks the situation is reaching a breaking point.

“We’ve been dealing with violence in the workplace for a long, long time,” Brown said. “I think finally the nursing profession has gotten fed up with it and are finally trying to really have other people understand.”

Sparrow President Alan Vierling said it’s a daily issue.

“I think nurses are probably the most assaulted member of the workforce in the country,” Vierling said. “There’s many confounding factors, but we deal with it literally every single day.”

Compounding matters, Vierling and Brown said nurses don’t get the same respect that someone on the street might show a police officer.

“For years, it was one of those crazy things where we said well you know it’s part of the job. Well it’s not part of the job. If you can’t hit me on Michigan Avenue, you shouldn’t be able to hit me in a building on Michigan Avenue,” Vierling said.

Every hospital does things slightly different in these situations, but at Sparrow they have something called B-E-R-T, or Behavioral Emergency Response Team.

“That is something that if they are dealing with a violent patient or an aggressive patient, they can have a team of resources come to help them,” Brown said. “A security officer comes, a nursing leader, and a social worker and any nurse can call it.”

Overall, Brown said nurses really just want one thing.

“They want to work at a place that understands their safety is important,” Brown said.

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