In Context: 5 Web Perspectives On A Story In The News

B.C. health authority scolded for patient violence


The Vancouver Island Health Authority does not protect its staff from violent patients, according to WorkSafeBC. VIHA has been in trouble with WorkSafeBC before for not properly training nurses to handle violent psychiatric patients. One patient beat a nurse 18 months ago and she is still recovering. Last year the same patient attacked a mental health worker and another patient. The VIHA's problem with violent patients has been ongoing and they've been cited by WorkSafeBC before. The VIHA has been fined $250,000 for other violent incidents by patients at hospitals in Nanaimo and Tofino over the past two years.


Nurses Association sets high standards

Certified psychiatric nursing
This is the Canadian Nurses Association’s requirements of psychiatric nurses for the certification exam. It states how the requirements are decided and measured, gives a detailed account of what the psychiatric nurse’s role is, and how to handle clients with a variety of mental and physical illnesses. A registered psychiatric nurse must also have an understanding of the drugs each patient is on and the side effects. In order to write the certification, a nurse must have at least two years experience in the field. The Canadian Nurses Association was established in 1908. It represents almost 140 000 nurses from 11 provinces and territories.


Nurses advised on violent patients

Merck Manual
This is the Merck Manual's advice on how health workers should handle violent behaviour from patients. It gives a step by step outline of how to assess the situation, then decide the best solution. The Merck Manual suggests violent patients should be restrained by physical means, drugs or both. It also gives ideas on how to handle potentially violent pateints and how to diffuse dangerous situations. The manual says if physical restraints are used on a patient, a team of nurses should be used to protect both the patient and the staff. The Merck Manual was first published in 1899 by Merck & Co., an American drug manufacturer. Over the last century, more than six new manuals have been published all of which can be found online for free.


Group dispels mental health myths

Canadian Mental Health Association
This is the Canadian Mental Health Association advocacy page for British Columbia. The page lists different stigmas surrrounding mental illness. It has a facts and myths section, rules for proper advocacy etiquette, different groups to contact and what each group does for the mentally ill in B.C. More than 10,000 volunteers help run the CMHA and it is one of the oldest non-profit organizations in Canada. The association also helps people recover from mental illness and become more independent. Its goal is to advocate for the prevention of mental illness in Canadians.


Assault nearly guaranteed for nurses

Vancouver Island Health Authority
This is the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s violence prevention module. Its purpose is to keep employees informed on safety in the workplace, on how to diffuse situations and how to properly report it. It was published in November of last year, about seven months after the first violent attack on an employee. The module states that 50 per cent of nurses report some form of violence every year and over the course of a nurse's career there is a 94 per cent chance a nurse will be physically assaulted by a patient. 


Regulator fines health authority

This is the 2009 Penalty Report by WorkSafeBC that shows the $75,000 fine Vancouver Island Health Authority received after failing to meet violence prevention policies. The incidents happened in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. WorkSafeBC promotes job safety for both employers and employees. It helps to provide compensation, rehabilitation and other services to employees throughout the province. WorkSafeBC was established in 1917 and is funded by employers.


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