VIDEO: Local Nurses Launch Public Awareness Campaign Against Workplace Violence

Local nurses have launched a public awareness campaign in an attempt to stop workplace violence in health care.

The Ontario Nurses Association Local 8 has developed four new commercials to let the public know that violence shouldn't be tolerated against nurses and front-line health care professionals.

It points out that one in three nurses experience physical abuse.

Local Co-ordinator for the Ontario Nurses Association Susan Sommerdyk says nurses are the front-line of care and most often, patients who are frustrated will take their anger out on nurses.

Sommerdyk says the violence is often 'under reported' and yet what she does hear, is disturbing. "People have been punched in the face, punched in the shoulder, punched in the neck, punched in the ear, punched in the arm, punched in the mouth. They have been yelled at and verbally assaulted, lives have been threatened, their jobs are threatened."

"We are right in front of them," says Sommerdyk. "We are generally a target that you pretty well guaranteed that we aren't going to hit back, we generally not yell back at a patient or family, that's not how we are made. We are caregivers, we are here for the patients."

"The problem is getting worse," according to Summerdyk. "People are upset and angry and stuff with mental health patients in an emergency room waiting and it is like a powder keg waiting to go off."

The ONA Local launched the campaign this week and the commercials will be shown at Imagine Cinemas in Lakeshore as well as on social media.

ONA Local 8 represents 2,200 nurses in 17 different facilities ranging from nursing homes, homes for the aged, health teams, automotive and hospitals.