Assault on a nurse

  1. 0
    Hi everyone,

    Would you guys please be able to point me in the right direction. I am looking for states that currently list "Assault on a nurse" as a felony.

    I have to write a paper for a leadership class on the pro's and cons'(don't know of anyone who would be opposed to protection) and I am trying to gather my informaton. Any help or ideas that are suggested are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 3
    I live in Maine. It is a felony here to assault "an emergency medical care provider," including anyone providing emergency care in a hospital setting.

    Do I think assault on providers should be taken seriously? Absolutely. Do we need a special law for that? Absolutely not.

    It was already against the law to assault anyone long before the aforementioned law was put on the books. Nurses -- or any other provider, for that matter -- don't need to be treated as a special class of people. An assault is an assault. It is not made worse by the occupation of the victim but by the extent of injury. Determining those injuries -- and the resulting penalty -- is what judges are for. As a taxpayer, I don't appreciate state legislators cooking up bills that are redundant, either. It's an expensive exericse in pandering. Think also about the slippery slope: What other occupations deserve to be recognized as a special class in assault cases? Are we going to have laws making it "extra bad" to assault teachers, firefighters, mental health workers? Why? Why not?

    Who else would oppose such a law? Ask your local prosecutor's office or check with your state prosecutors' association. Do a Google to see who testified for and against such legislation.
    MassED, ♪♫ in my ♥, and wooh like this.
  4. 1
    Here's an interesting article that might give you some leads on the pro-side. Good luck!

    http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feat...ses/index.html
    mizfradd likes this.
  5. 1
    ^ Great article! Especially the one particular sentence that sums it up in reality, "The bottom line is, it's cheaper to pay workers' compensation for nurses than it is to solve the problems causing the injury."
    wooh likes this.
  6. 2
    Pennsylvania is one of those states that have that sort of law. Actually, there was recently an incident in the ER I work at where a vistor tossed her soiled shorts at our front desk registration lady (and they landed on her FACE...ugh)... and could not be arrested because she didn't assault a licensed medical professional. If it had been the TRIAGE NURSE... the lady would have been taken away in cuffs. Instead, our desk worker had to go out of her way to press charges against the visitor. Not really the fairest law when you look at it in that context, but I'd wager I'd be happy as a clam if I should *unfortunately* find MYSELF in a similar situation and get to see the assailant taken away by the police.
    MassED and wooh like this.
  7. 2
    Assault is assault! It does not matter if you are a nurse or not. If you are assaulted at the work place you have a right to file a police report. If it is a confused patient that would be sticky to say the least but if another employee assaults you or a family member you can file and or sue. The only thing your research should involve as far as what states consider assault to a nurse should involve is the definition of assault. Now, having said that, there are other remaifications of filing while working. Most hospitals would not like you filing an assault charge-- it would be bad publicity. But I would do it in a heartbeat if a physician assaulted me. And I have seen this happen to other nurses. I remember a nurse being hit in the back by a surgeon and told "get moving I have rounds to make". I would have filed against him had it been me. But it takes guts. You will certainly be demonized for this.
    This is one of the reasons why I support unions for nursing. A union steward can really be of great help negotiating the pitfalls of this type of circumstance.
    MassED and wooh like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from taz628
    Pennsylvania is one of those states that have that sort of law. Actually, there was recently an incident in the ER I work at where a vistor tossed her soiled shorts at our front desk registration lady (and they landed on her FACE...ugh)... and could not be arrested because she didn't assault a licensed medical professional. If it had been the TRIAGE NURSE... the lady would have been taken away in cuffs. Instead, our desk worker had to go out of her way to press charges against the visitor. Not really the fairest law when you look at it in that context, but I'd wager I'd be happy as a clam if I should *unfortunately* find MYSELF in a similar situation and get to see the assailant taken away by the police.
    The desk clerk should have gone to the police station and file a report. If they failed to file charges against the visitor then the city would have been liable. You could file a suit against them.

    My husband works in a factory and was assaulted by a truck driver. He refused to hit back. His HR didn't believe him that someone had assaulted him snd then... they found the video in the field showing the assault. My husband was cleared and he was asked if he wanted to file assault charges. He decided not to since the truck driver was fired.
  9. 0
    Quote from taz628
    Pennsylvania is one of those states that have that sort of law. Actually, there was recently an incident in the ER I work at where a vistor tossed her soiled shorts at our front desk registration lady (and they landed on her FACE...ugh)... and could not be arrested because she didn't assault a licensed medical professional. If it had been the TRIAGE NURSE... the lady would have been taken away in cuffs. Instead, our desk worker had to go out of her way to press charges against the visitor. Not really the fairest law when you look at it in that context, but I'd wager I'd be happy as a clam if I should *unfortunately* find MYSELF in a similar situation and get to see the assailant taken away by the police.
    Awful, to say the least. But this is a common misconception. It was illegal and a crime to assault the registrar because it's illegal and a crime to assault anyone. The hospital should have called the police and pursued a complaint that would lead to charges. These "nurse assault" laws create confusion.
  10. 2
    I would think it's comparable to being charged with assaulting a police officer rather than just assault. The wrinkle being that you are assaulting a person who is attempting to do a job that involves a public service of some kind. What do the laws actually do? If it's a matter of degree - perhaps assaulting a nurse is automatically a first degree charge regardless of how serious the assault was - that might make sense because nurses, like police officers, have to deal with the public in order to their jobs.
    Aymese and MassED like this.
  11. 0
    Here is what the law says in Iowa:
    708.3A Assaults on peace officers, jailers, correctional staff, fire fighters, and health care providers.
    1. A person who commits an assault, as defined in section 708.1, against a peace officer, jailer, correctional staff, health care provider, or fire fighter, whether paid or volunteer, with the knowledge that the person against whom the assault is committed is a peace officer, jailer, correctional staff, health care provider, or fire fighter and with the intent to inflict a serious injury upon the peace officer, jailer, correctional staff, health care provider, or fire fighter, is guilty of a class "D" felony.

    2. A person who commits an assault, as defined in section 708.1, against a peace officer, jailer, correctional staff, health care provider, or fire fighter, whether paid or volunteer, who knows that the person against whom the assault is committed is a peace officer, jailer, correctional staff, health care provider, or fire fighter and who uses or displays a dangerous weapon in connection with the assault, is guilty of a class "D" felony.

    3. A person who commits an assault, as defined in section 708.1, against a peace officer, jailer, correctional staff, health care provider, or fire fighter, whether paid or volunteer, who knows that the person against whom the assault is committed is a peace officer, jailer, correctional staff, health care provider, or fire fighter, and who causes bodily injury or mental illness, is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor.

    4. Any other assault, as defined in section 708.1, committed against a peace officer, jailer, correctional staff, health care provider, or fire fighter, whether paid or volunteer, by a person who knows that the person against whom the assault is committed is a peace officer, jailer, correctional staff, health care provider, or fire fighter, is a serious misdemeanor.

    5. As used in this section, "health care provider" means an emergency medical care provider as defined in chapter 147A or a person licensed or registered under chapter 148, 148C, 148D, 150, 150A, or 152 who is providing or who is attempting to provide emergency medical services, as defined in section 147A.1, or who is providing or who is attempting to provide health services as defined in section 135.61 in a hospital. A person who commits an assault under this section against a health care provider in a hospital, or at the scene or during out-of-hospital patient transportation in an ambulance, is presumed to know that the person against whom the assault is committed is a health care provider.


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