DHA applauds House for bill against hospital violence

DOVER — The Delaware House of Representatives approved a bill, House Bill 144, sponsored by Rep. Bill Bush, aimed at curbing violent assaults on workers at Delaware hospitals and other health care facilities. HB 144 expands the felony offense of Assault in the Second Degree to anyone that intentionally causes physical injury on any person providing health care treatment or employed by a health care provider. “Health care workers have dedicated their lives to caring for others, yet they are four times more likely to face serious workplace violence than in any other career,” said Wayne Smith, Delaware Healthcare Association president and CEO. “Violence against health care workers is increasing at an alarming rate, which is why HB 144 is needed now more than ever. We thank Rep. Bill Bush and members of the House for standing up against violence to health care workers.
Under Delaware Code, Assault in Second Degree currently applies to various professions, including physicians, nurses, but does not include numerous employees of a health system that come into contact with patients and families on a regular basis. These may include patient safety attendants, medical assistants and office staff, nursing assistants, physical therapists, public safety and security officers, respiratory therapists, EKG technicians, radiology technologists, etc. HB 144 would ensure that all health care employees have the same protection under the law.