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Nurses Get Pushed Around, Again

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, February 28, 2012

Maternity wards are often locked, and the comings and goings of visitors and family are heavily monitored. Hospitals also tightly control babies' whereabouts; in some hospitals, babies wear security bracelets that trigger an alarm if they're carried beyond designated boundaries.

Penalties for lax security can be hefty: Last year, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, in Santa Barbara County, CA, was fined $50,000 after hospital staff failed to prevent a newborn from being abducted from the mother's room.

A HealthLeaders Media story reported that "the facility 'had no access control policy in place, i.e.: a defined methodology of who can come, go, and how to limit access to the security-sensitive MIU.' Also, state documents indicate that 'nurses were utilized as the access control mechanism, but were not adequately trained and when busy could not account for visitors or the security of the unit.'"

If the nurses involved in the Kennedy incident were simply trying to do their jobs, it's even more disturbing that they might have been hurt in the process. Of course, nurses are no strangers to violent and aggressive behavior.

Violence against nurses is "prevalent," according to 2009 research by the Emergency Nurses Association, which found that of 3,465 registered nurses who work in EDs or trauma centers in every state, one in four had experienced physical violence more than 20 times in the past three years.

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4 comments on "Nurses Get Pushed Around, Again"


Robert Prehn (3/5/2012 at 2:27 PM)
Congratulations to the nurses for doing their duty. Congratulations to the hospital's administration for standing behind their nurses 100%. Shame on Mr Kennedy for his behavior.

long time RN (3/3/2012 at 10:46 AM)
Immediately on hearing this news, knew something was 'fishy'. Fathers are not allowed to simply waltz out of the hospital with their newborns for some 'fresh air'. I suspect there is much more to this story that is unreported and I commend the nurses involved for doing the right thing. Mr. Kennedy should be ashamed of himself.

Purnima Krishna (2/29/2012 at 12:12 PM)
Being a nurse myself, I was appalled by the incident. This matter should be looked into deeply on the abuse of nurses. The nurses were called "aggresors" by the doctor who witnessed the incident is a total shame. Let him be the buddy of the most influential person in this world but he failed to follow the hospitals rules and of course failed to support his own colleagues. Taking out the newborn baby of the high profile parent outside for "fresh air" in winter seems a little odd idea to begin with. At the end, I am glad that the hospital is supportive of it's nurses.