LOUISVILLE, Ky. —
After seeing our FOCUS investigation and speaking with those who contributed to our reporting, State Representative Kim Moser said she plans to address violence in health care.
The epidemic of violence against health care workers by their patients is too big to ignore, according to Delanor Manson of the Kentucky Nurses Association and Jessica Estes of the Kentucky Board of Nursing, who have contributed to our coverage from the beginning.
“I just want to thank you for joining us today and making this a priority in highlighting it, I think it’s very important," said State Representative Kim Moser.
In an hour-long meeting, Manson, Estes, and WHAS11's FOCUS reporter Paula Vasan discussed research, along with photos of violence uncovered in WHAS11's reporting.
"What is your message to nurses in Kentucky?" Vasan asked. Moser's response: "Well, we care about you. We care about your workplace and we know that you are going to work because you care about other people."
Moser said she plans to propose a state bill to address workplace violence prevention in health care. She said it could be influenced by legislation passed by other states, such as California, Nevada, and Illinois. She said she’s also considering national legislation that passed in the U.S. House and is currently being considered in the Senate.
"When you see these sorts of things and these stories of violence happening it does kind of touch your heart," Moser said. "We're talking about folks who have dedicated their lives to helping others. And if they can't do their job effectively it's a problem for all of us."
As for a timeline, Moser said she aims to propose a bill in the upcoming legislative session, which starts January 7. She tells us her priority is to make sure the helpers here in Kentucky are better protected, as they devote their lives to helping others.
In September, the Kentucky Nurses Association anonymously surveyed 177 nurses in the state about workplace violence. Seventy-two percent of respondents said workplace violence has increased over the past year. Twenty-six percent said they had never been instructed to report violence. Some revealed their employers even discouraged them from reporting.