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Statement on Encino Hospital stabbing: We must address hospital workplace violence now.

June 6, 2022

Media statement

Two Emergency Department nurses and one doctor were injured in an stabbing attack at Encino Hospital Medical Center on Friday June 3. The nurses are members of SEIU 121RN. Our President and Executive Director released the following statements in response to the incident, which occurred just days after a shooting at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma and amid an increase in workplace violence in hospitals nationwide.

The following statement can be attributed to Rosanna Mendez, Executive Director, SEIU 121RN

“We were horrified to learn of the violent attack on hospital staff at Encino Hospital Medical Center. On behalf of the entire SEIU 121RN family, I wish a speedy recovery to the two Emergency Department Nurses who were injured, and to the doctor who worked alongside them. We were heartened to learn that their injuries were not life-threatening, though we realize the outcome could have been far worse.

We are investigating to learn more about how this happened, but one thing is clear—and was even before this week’s deadly shooting at St. Francis hospital in Tulsa: workplace violence in hospitals is increasing, and it is a real threat to our members. At the same time, it seems that our country is gripped in a spate of violence, often random, and often directed at soft targets. We hope that a renewed focus on these issues, brought on by recent events, will soon lead to action.”

The following statement can be attributed to Dr. Nina Wells, DNP, MSN-NE, RN, PHN, President, SEIU 121RN

“Nurses and other frontline healthcare professionals have endured far too much in the last three years. They are still confronting the stresses of the pandemic in their working lives and in their psyches. We must not allow fear for their physical safety to be laid on top of that existing burden.

All workers deserve to know that they are safe at their job. For hospital staff, who must often engage with emotionally volatile patients, safety is an acute concern. As incidents of workplace violence have risen in recent years, it is past time that we prioritized this issue.”