B.C. Nurses’ Union demands answers after nurse allegedly assaulted at Kelowna hospital - InfoNews

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B.C. Nurses’ Union demands answers after nurse allegedly assaulted at Kelowna hospital

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May 14, 2020 - 3:34 PM

The B.C. Nurses’ Union is demanding answers after one of its members was allegedly assaulted while working to screen patients for COVID-19 in Kelowna General Hospital’s emergency department.

RCMP said the nurse was struck in the arm by a man who had come to the hospital for treatment yesterday afternoon, May 13. The nurse suffered non-life threatening injuries and the suspect was held by security personnel until police arrived. A 37-year-old Vernon man was subsequently released for a future court date.

"KGH is one of a handful of hospitals in the province that is supposed to provide 24/7 security in the ER, part of a joint pilot project lead by BCNU and Interior Health in 2018 that focused on protecting nurses from violence in the workplace," according to a B.C. Nurses' Union in a media release.

READ MORE: ER nurse allegedly assaulted at Kelowna General Hospital 

Union president Christine Sorensen said in addition to Wednesday’s incident, she’s extremely concerned to hear that the COVID-19 screening desk, where this nurse was working at the time, had not been retrofitted with a plexiglass shield, something standard at many grocery stores nowadays.

“Not only did this nurse experience a traumatizing incident that left her with physical injuries, she is also working through a pandemic, on the frontlines, in a high-risk area, without the appropriate infection control measures in place,” Sorensen said.

“This screening desk is the first point of access to the emergency department. It’s unacceptable to think Interior Health would not take all of the necessary precautions to protect nurses and health care workers.”

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