The AAOS is concerned about the rise in mass shootings and workplace violence. In early June, an orthopaedic surgeon was among four people killed in a shooting at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This tragic loss of life is becoming increasingly common in healthcare settings throughout the country, especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has placed significant strain on the healthcare system, and there have increasingly been reports of patients or family members threatening and harming healthcare workers.
Physicians and health professionals must feel safe in the workplace. Threats and workplace violence are unnecessary distractions that cause delays in patient care.
AAOS is supportive of the Safety From Violence for Healthcare Employees Act (H.R. 7961). This legislation would establish legal penalties for assaulting or intimidating hospital employees, the same protections that apply to flight crews and airline employees.