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For instance, Massachusetts state lawmakers were scheduled to hold a hearing at the State House on July 11 on legislation that will strengthen the penalties for assaulting a healthcare worker while also streamlining how victims of healthcare workplace violence are able to use the justice system, according to an article by PR Newswire.
The bill – S.765/H.795 – will increase the penalty for assaulting RNs, emergency medical technicians and other healthcare providers from a misdemeanor to a felony, punishable by either up to two-and-a-half years in jail or not more than five years in state prison, according to the article.
“Healthcare professionals are being assaulted at a rate four times greater than those working in other industries,” said Donna Kelly-Williams, RN, president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, according to the PR Newswire article. “Fear of violence and actual violence is rampant in Massachusetts healthcare facilities. An assault on a nurse is a serious action and should be taken seriously by our judicial system.”