legislative letter

Legislative Letter, H.R. 1309Meghan CaraballoNURS 501Liberty UniversityJune 30, 2019Meghan CaraballoPSC 41 Box 6666APO, AE 09464-0067Representative Michael Simpson802 West Bannock StreetSuite 600Boise, ID 83702Dear Representative Simpson,I am writing you to convey the importance of and encourage your support for H.R. 1309/S. 851, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. This bill will require hospitals and other health care employers to take the steps necessary to protect their employees and patients from violence in the workplace (Workplace Violence, 2019).Unfortunately, violence in the workplace has become an everyday occurrence in the health care setting. All over the nation healthcare workers are getting kicked bitten, punched, and even stabbed or shot (Department of Labor, 2015). I personally have been kicked, bitten, and verbally assaulted by various patients and their family members. I, for one, did not go into nursing to enter a wrestling ring every day. Nursing is my higher calling; it is my way to help those in need. Hebrews 13:16 reminds us, “Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (English Standard Version). I went in to nursing to serve a bigger purpose in life and to help thy neighbor. Never did I imagine when making that choice I would have to deal with the verbal and physical assault on a daily basis. According to a 2011 study done by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one third of emergency nurses reported they had considered leaving the profession due to workplace violence (Department of Labor, 2015).With the current nationwide nursing shortage, we as a profession cannot absorb any further losses in our work force. Not only do we need to be concerned about retaining the high quality nurses we currently have, we need to be concerned with their on the job safety. Job safety is important for more than one reason. Not only the physical aspect, but the financial burden it places on hospitals and health employers. At this time, according to OSHA, nationwide workers compensation losses result in a total annual expense of $2 billion for hospitals (Department of Labor, 2015). H.R. 1309 is a way for hospitals to treat this problem prophylactically. The Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act will make sure that hospitals and other health care employers who are reliant on funding from Medicare and Medicaid take certain steps to prevent workplace violence this will improve the safety of patients and workers alike. It will be an additional cost up front to these institutions, but will compensate the additional costs in the long run with decreasing the amount of worker compensation pay outs. H.R. 1309 will require an employer to develop processes to identify and respond to risks and hazards that make their institutions more vulnerable to violence. They would also be required to implement protocols to document/investigate instances of violence, as well as create a workplace that supports employees to report cases of violence (Workplace Violence, 2019). Not only would it create a supportive environment; it would ensure that employees are accurately trained in identifying and addressing potential situations of violence.In order to lower the risks and occurrences of workplace violence, we as a society must take the appropriate steps to address the core of these issues, which in turn, will lessen the effects it has on nurses as a whole. The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R.1309/S. 851) will help combat this rising problem. It will help by creating an environment where health care workers are provided a safe working environment, while receiving the support they need and addressing the problem of violence in their daily work life. Thank you for consideration and support to this important piece of legislation, H.R. 1309, and thank you for your continued leadership in Washington.Sincerely,Meghan Caraballo, BSN, RNReferencesLiberty University. (2018). The online writing center. Retrieved from HYPERLINK “https://www.liberty.edu/casas/academic-success-center/apa-guide/” https://www.liberty.edu/casas/academic-success-center/apa-guide/UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals/workplace_violence.htmlWorkplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, H.R. 1309, 116th Cong. (02/19/2019). Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1309?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%22HR+1309%22%7D

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