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Kentucky Legislature looking at extending healthcare worker protections

Left to Right- Jim Musser with the Kentucky Hospital Association-Rep and Bill Sponsor Kim Moser
Stu Johnson
Left to Right- Jim Musser with the Kentucky Hospital Association-Rep and Bill Sponsor Kim Moser

Legal protections against workplace violence would be extended to contract healthcare providers under legislation before the Kentucky House. The measure emerged from committee last week. Testifying in support of the expansion was Jim Musser of the Kentucky Hospital Association.

 “The violence against our nurses, our doctors, our therapists and the rest of the healthcare teammates has grown exponentially from abusive language, which is bad enough…but it’s spitting and hitting and shoving and threats with weapons,” said Musser.

The bill, sponsored by GOP Representative Kim Moser of Taylor Mill, expands protections for contracted employees like doctors and traveling nurses. It provides for a third-degree assault charge. During committee consideration, Elizabethtown GOP Rep Steve Bratcher talked about an emergency room visit he made a couple of years ago.

“And there were people in there threatening the doctors, threatening with violence. Demanding drugs. The police were in there. And that was an eye-opener for me what these medical professionals have to go through,” said Bratcher.

Glasgow GOP Representative Steve Riley cast an aye vote and said he’d like to see such protections extend beyond the hospital to include doctor’s, dental, and PT offices. Moser said that could be taken up through a floor amendment.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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