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Press release

Centra Takes Proactive Measures to Ensure Caregiver Safety Amid Rising Workplace Violence Threats

Published on Monday July 24, 2023

Workplace violence (WPV) and active threat situations have become increasingly prevalent in our nation, posing a significant risk to healthcare settings. Workplace violence can be defined as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threating disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.

Recognizing this urgent concern, Centra's Emergency Management & Life Safety Team, in collaboration with its Workplace Violence Committee, has been actively working to prevent acts of violence against Centra Caregivers. The organization has implemented comprehensive response protocols to address unfortunate incidents and prioritize Caregiver safety.

Healthcare and social assistance workers face a heightened risk of workplace violence, with statistics showing they are five times more likely to experience such incidents compared to other fields. Centra firmly believes in prioritizing a safe workplace that upholds its strategic theme of "People First,” and is committed to maintaining a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence, ensuring that every Caregiver feels secure and protected.

To address WPV conditions, Virginia hospitals, nurses and other healthcare partners successfully worked with the Virginia General Assembly in 2019 to strengthen protections for healthcare workers performing their job by making it a class 1 misdemeanor to threaten to kill or harm them while they are rendering care in a hospital, emergency department or other clinical facility. On July 1, 2023, updates to this law officially went into effect extending protections to providers rendering care in all healthcare settings.

Centra invites our community to partner with us in creating a culture of safety in all healthcare facilities in central Virginia by committing to exhibiting appropriate, respectful behavior when interacting with or receiving care from a healthcare professional. By embracing a collective commitment to safety and equipping both our Caregivers and the community with essential tools and knowledge, we can create a secure environment where health, hope, and healing thrive.