Bill introduced to protect SC nurses, doctors in hospitals

Bill introduced to protect SC nurses, doctors in hospitals
Rep. Wendell Gilliard will introduce a bill to protect doctors and nurses from assaults in hospitals. (Source: Live5)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Rep. Wendell Gilliard announced on Wednesday he will pre-file a bill aimed at protecting nurses and doctors.

The bill stems from nurses all over the state, including Gilliard’s own daughter, who have seen patients assault hospital staff.

“We are probably hearing more about this than we are about anything else at the [South Carolina Hospital] Association, so it is a high priority for us," Executive Vice President for the South Carolina Hospital Association, Allan Stalvey, said during a round-table meeting.

Gilliard called the meeting on Wednesday which included representatives from several different law enforcement agencies, EMS and Lowcountry nurses. Three nurses gave personal accounts of scary situations, including staff getting verbally and physically assaulted, they have experienced at their respective hospitals.

“This is a serious issue," Gilliard said. His bill would require health care facilities to conduct a yearly risk assessment to find potential threats to the health and safety of patients, staff and visitors. It also calls for consultation with local law enforcement and local public safety officials about any trends in violent crime or other threats to public safety in the workplace.

“Of course, there’s other things that need to be done too,” he added. “They need to have more communication, more dialogue with our law enforcement here throughout the tri-country because, as you heard, it’s a problem in the whole state."

Gilliard said he will pre-file the bill in December. The legislative session starts in January 2020.

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