Virginia Mason nurses picket over violence, attacks at work

Published by THE SEATTLE TIMES on 10/10/23 (Source)

Hundreds of nurses lined Seattle streets in front of Virginia Mason Medical Center during a pair of Tuesday pickets, hoping to push the hospital into addressing recent safety scares and attacks on staffers.

Nurses aimed to bring attention to what they say are worsening incidents of workplace violence in the state’s hospitals — especially at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s downtown hospital, said registered nurse Brad Rathke. He and other nurses, along with a group of local and state elected officials and labor leaders who made appearances, emphasized the connection between assaults and ongoing issues of staffing shortages, retention and pay.

“I am so sick of having short staffing at work,” Rathke said to the crowd Tuesday.

Rathke has worked at the hospital for five years and had experienced instances of assault in the past, he said. In July, things got worse. He was stabbed in the jaw by a patient with a metal butter knife.