Australian Nurses Worried About Hospital Violence, Security

SYDNEY, Australia--Healthcare workers in Australia are voicing their concerns about security within their hospitals. Their major complain stems from lack of police response in emergency situations.

At the NSW Nurses Association Conference in Sydney, the director general of the country's health department said violence in public hospitals is a serious issue and new security measures are a must. In rural areas, nurses have reported police stations do not operate 24-hours a day, leaving nurses to fend for themselves if violence erupts late at night.

There have been situations where nurses have been hurt under these conditions, and in once incidence, a patient was bashed fatally.

The security measures being considered include: security guards, mobile phones for nurses, duress alarms, and closed circuit television cameras. However, a nurse from a rural area was quick to address these proposals. She said they are inadequate because she already had a duress alarm, but the police station was closed when she needed help.

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