When TEGH opened its new emergency ward, across the hall from the previous one, conversation wasn't on medical advances but on staff security, especially for nurses. This came on the heels of the statistics that 34% of the nurses reported (based upon a survey of 19,000 nurses) having suffered violence. (Estonians have been patients of the TEGH for three generations.)
The dignitaries, at the opening, were Health Minister, David Caplan and Labour Minister, Peter Fonseca who was going to present ammendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that apply to health care workers, right after leaving the hospital. Both ministers stressed safety for healthcare workers.
The ammendment to the act will also prevent domestic violence in the workplace after a person was killed by her estranged partner who also killed himself as both people worked at the hospital.
The ammendments require employers work up protocols protecting workers but do not provide penalties to those that do not.
"We have spent considerable effort in designing a safe working environment," said the President of TEGH Mr. Rob Devitt. "For instance every person working here has a device (around their neck) that tells us where they are at all times and at two depressions of the button will bring a security officer to their location. We used to have sharp medical needles in each emergency room which could be used to harm anybody. Now we bring them only when we need them."
The security office is close to the emergency ward and the security officers are community college trained so the protection of the nurses is and has always been good.
Toronto East General Opens New Emergency Ward That Concentrates On Nurses' Security (1)