On December 1, 2022, Doug Brant, an RN with Providence VNA Home Health in Spokane, was shot and killed while on a home visit to a new patient recovering from a stroke. The patient’s 31-year-old grandson has been arrested for the killing.
According to court documents, Brant was meeting the patient and her husband when their grandson, who had been living with them, shot him three times. After Brant fell, the killer shot him one last time and fled.
Doug Brant was a highly experienced home health nurse, well loved by patients and colleagues. He was an active member in his local unit of WSNA, serving as treasurer.
“We are both heartbroken and outraged,” said David Keepnews, PhD, JD, RN, FAAN, WSNA Executive Director. “This cold-blooded killing is an incalculable loss for Doug Brant’s patients, his family, his colleagues, his community, and WSNA. It is also a horrific example of the growing problem of violence against nurses and other healthcare workers.”
WSNA President Lynnette Vehrs, MN, RN, added: “I was a home health nurse with Providence VNA for 17 years. It is a calling and a joy to meet patients where they are and provide care in their homes. I never imagined that violence of this magnitude could affect me or my fellow home health nurses. While the killing of a nurse is a rare event, workplace violence in health care, sadly, is not. There is no reason why Doug Brant—or any other nurse—should, in a matter of seconds, go from caregiver to victim.”
Home health nurses are at an increased risk of workplace violence as they go into patients’ homes and communities to deliver the care their patients need. Still, there are best practices, procedures, and public policy we must explore to help ensure a senseless killing doesn’t happen again. In all healthcare settings, workplace violence has been on the rise. We must reverse this trend—our goal should be that no nurse or health care worker suffers threats of violence, assault, battery, or even death on the job.
Randi Weingarten, president of AFT, which is WSNA’s national union, said: “Whether our frontline workers are caring for patients in their homes or in a hospital or clinic setting, they must not be left vulnerable with no federal, enforceable standards requiring comprehensive policies to prevent further tragedies. It’s time to end this silent epidemic of healthcare workplace violence.”
AFT and WSNA are calling for an Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard on workplace violence prevention.
WSNA is committed to ending violence against nurses and healthcare workers. This tragic incident is a call to action to WSNA and all nurses to redouble our efforts to stop workplace violence. That is one of the best ways we can honor the memory of Doug Brant.
In the meantime, WSNA extends its sincere condolences to Doug Brant’s family and colleagues.