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NMC Testifies on Workplace Violence to Legislature

Northwestern Medical Center’s Progressive Care Unit Director Danielle Boudro, RN, testified before the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare about how healthcare professionals are assaulted and traumatized on a regular basis.  

“I am taken aback by the sheer number of incidences – simply in the last week – on our inpatient unit,” Boudro said. She shared stories from NMC caregivers that involved staff being abused with kicks, scratches, and death threats.  

Boudro provided testimony as the Senate committee works on a proposed bill (S.36) that would permit law enforcement to directly arrest a person who interferes with health care services rather than just issue a citation. 

“As healthcare professionals we have come to work to provide care to a vulnerable population of individuals … and yet, our healthcare professionals are being assaulted and traumatized on a regular basis. This is unsustainable.” 

Health care is disproportionately impacted by workplace violence versus all other industries– and workplace violence is increasing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, health care workers accounted for 73% of all nonfatal workplace injuries in 2018. The amount of workplace violence incidents has been increasing at hospitals in Vermont, with the state’s largest hospital reporting over 500 incidents last year — approximately 1.5 incidents per day. 

Other testimony on Wednesday came from healthcare professionals across the state, showing the widespread nature of increasing violence in healthcare settings. Impassioned testimony came from:  

  • Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, 
  • Bennington Hospital, 
  • Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital,  
  • Central Vermont Medical Center,  
  • Rutland Regional Medical Center,  
  • University of Vermont Medical Center and  
  • Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center.