ONA Chief Executive Officer Jane Nelson says her organization will tackle the issue of violence in the workplace at the upcoming Annual Nurses Convention in Tulsa Oct. 24-25.

Tackling the issue of violence in the health care workplace will be the topic for this year’s first day of the Oklahoma Nurses Association Annual Convention in Tulsa.
The 2018 Annual Nurses Convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Tulsa Oct. 24-25.
Empowering Nurses: Inspire. Innovate. Influence is this year’s convention theme.
During this two-day convention, attendees will explore action-based solutions to empower nurses in their practice areas.
From 9 a.m. to noon on the convention’s first day the focus will be on Ending Nurse Abuse in Oklahoma.
“The ANA has defined workplace violence from incivility to physical violence,” said ONA Chief Executive Officer Jane Nelson. “The sources of that violence comes from peers all the way to patients and their families.”
According to statistics kept by the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), serious workplace violence was more common in health care than any other private sector industry. The health care and social assistance sector recorded almost eight cases of serious workplace violence per 10,000 full-time employees in 2013, compared with two cases per 10,000 workers in fields such as construction, retail, and manufacturing.
An American Nurses Association survey reports violence against nurses is epidemic, with more than 20% of registered nurses and nursing students reporting they’d been physically assaulted and more than half saying they’d been verbally abused over the course of a year.
National Nurses United, the largest nurses’ union with more than 150,000 members, is pushing OSHA to adopt national standards to prevent workplace violence in health care. The organization reports that between 2005 and 2014, rates of workplace violence soared 110% in private industry hospitals.
A panel discussion of nurse leaders from different hospitals across the state will highlight the convention’s first day.
Panelists will discuss systemic security changes to policies and visual cues that alert staff of potentially violent patient situations.
“This session will be a really great session and it’s different than anything we’ve ever done before,” Nelson said.
A representative from the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office will also present on violence.
“His background is domestic violence and how to identify and realize you might be stepping into a situation that could lead to violence just by looking at verbal and non-verbal cues,” Nelson said. “We’re really trying to help nurses localize ANA’s End Nurse Abuse Campaign and that it’s not just something happening in other states. It is happening here and nurses and employers need to work together to solve these issues.”
Currently, there is no specific federal statute that requires workplace violence protections, but several states have enacted legislation or regulations aimed at protecting health care workers from its effects.
The ANA supports these moves by individual states, and is actively advocating further, more stringent regulation.
In 2015, the ANA convened a Professional Issues Panel on Incivility, Bullying, and Workplace Violence to develop a new ANA position statement.
The key points are:
* The nursing profession will not tolerate violence of any kind from any source
* Nurses and employers must collaborate to create a culture of respect
* The adoption of evidence-based strategies that prevent and mitigate incivility, bullying, and workplace violence; and promote health, safety, and wellness and optimal outcomes in health care
* The strategies employed are listed and categorized by primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention
* The statement is relevant for all health care professionals and stakeholders, not exclusively to nurses.
At this time, OSHA does not require employers to implement workplace violence prevention programs, but it provides voluntary guidelines and may cite employers for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized serious hazards.
Some states have legislated that employers develop a program while the majority of states have advanced laws that amend existing statute for assaults of first responders by adding nurses and/or increasing the penalty associated with such behavior.
There is variation between states as to which settings the law applies.
The ONA’s House of Delegates will convene in the afternoon to discuss possible resolutions on workplace violence in Oklahoma.
Day 2 of the convention will focus on disparities in health care and includes a variety of presenters.
Registration for the convention is ongoing. You can register online at oklahomanurses.org or call 405-840-3476 for more information.

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