SOUTHBRIDGE (CBS) — The nurse seriously injured in a stabbing attack at Harrington Hospital in Southbridge last month is sharing a photo of her wounds to raise awareness about violence faced by health care workers.
On Wednesday, Wilson’s husband Clifton and her colleagues will testify at the State House to support a law named after her that will require hospitals and health care facilities to come up with plants to prevent workplace violence.
The Massachusetts Nurses Association shared a photo on their Facebook page of a scarred but smiling Wilson on Tuesday.
“This is a tough photo to look at,” the post read. “But RN Elise Wilson and her loved ones want the public to see the violence nurses and other health care professionals are experiencing. And they want it to stop.”
They said she was smiling only because her ventilator and feeding tube had been removed.
Wilson has worked at Harrington Hospital for 40 years and was close to retirement.
The MNA says on their website that nurses are assaulted on the job more than police officers and prison guards.
That’s why they’ve introduced “An Act Requiring Health Care Employers to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence,” or “Elise’s Law.”
“The attack against Elise was vicious and left her fighting for her life,” said RN Tracy DiGregorio, who was working in the ER at the time of the assault, in a MNA press release Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I cannot say violence against nurses is rare. Nurses and other health care professionals are assaulted every single day at hospitals throughout Massachusetts. We should pass ‘Elise’s Law’ right away to help stop the violence.”
Elise’s Law would require employers to develop and put in place workplace violence prevention plans. It also provides time off for healthcare workers who are assaulted on the job and requires semi-annual reporting of assaults on healthcare workers to district attorneys.
Since the attack, Harrington hospital has installed metal detectors and panic buttons on staff ID badges.