The AAMC and other hospital and health system organizations sent a letter to Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) and Larry Bucshon, MD, (R-Ind.) on June 14 in support of the Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act (H.R. 7961). The legislation would offer statutory protections against violence and intimidation for health care workers and provide grants for hospital programs aimed at preventing violence in health care settings.
The letter highlighted the recent increases in violent attacks against health care workers, with recent studies indicating “44% of nurses reported being subject[ed] to physical violence and 68% report[ing] verbal abuse.” While violent attacks against health care workers have been steadily on the rise, the letter notes a “sharp uptick during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The hospital organizations also noted that violent experiences not only “impact the individual caregiver, who may suffer from both physical and psychological trauma,” but that they can also “disrupt care when providers fear for their personal safety, are distracted by disruptive patients or family members, or are traumatized from prior violent interactions.”
Finally, they thanked Reps. Dean and Bucshon for their leadership on the SAVE Act and committed to working with them on enacting the legislation.