Massachusetts nurse stabbed by former patient urges hospital safety changes

A nurse stabbed 11 times by a former patient at a Southbridge, Mass., hospital has traveled across the U.S. to speak before hospital CEOs and CNOs, demanding action on improving hospital safety, ABC-affiliate TV station WCVB reports.

"I'm trying to do everything I can to make people safer out there because more and more healthcare workers are getting hurt. The threat is real. The threat is becoming more frequent, and the threat is becoming more violent," Elise Wilson, RN, told the station.

After 35 years on the job as a nurse, Ms. Wilson, was attacked by the former patient in 2017, allegedly because he was unhappy with the care received at Harrington Hospital three weeks before.

Ms. Wilson still doesn't have use of her hand and has not been able to return to the emergency room.

Since the attack, her former employer has installed metal detectors and given staff personal, silent pocket alarms, Ms. Wilson said.

"These kinds of things are very easy to institute," Ms. Wilson said. "If a small community hospital like Harrington can do this in three to four weeks time, bigger facilities can do it and they need to do it."

On Jan. 18, Ms. Wilson will get backup in her fight from the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which will introduce two bills at the state House regarding workplace safety.

The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association also said it is "filing legislation that will create statewide standards for evaluating and addressing security risks in hospitals, and ensure all hospitals activate workplace violence prevention programs based on those standards."

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