Spectrum Health launches kindness campaign as response to staff abuse

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health has launched a publicity campaign urging patients to treat healthcare workers with more respect and kindness, NPR affiliate Michigan Radio reported Feb. 21.

The system launched the campaign as a response to the ongoing aggression and assaults staff members are facing from patients. Spectrum Health told Michigan Radio its staff's calls to security have increased more than 80 percent from 2019-21.

"I've personally been punched, I've been bitten, I've been spit on. I've had all kinds of bodily functions thrown at me," Angela Harris, a security officer at Spectrum Health, told Michigan Radio. Ms. Harris said she has also been sexually assaulted at work.

Becky Kutsche, a Spectrum Health nurse, said patient aggression has gotten harsher as the pandemic has lingered. She said most of the abuse she has experienced came "after the vaccine came out."

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