State ensures safety measures for
nurses, workers in mental health facilities
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CHICAGO -- On Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Human
Services released the following statement in response to the
Illinois Nurses Association call for increased security measures in
the wake of three sporadic incidents at state-run mental health
"We are absolutely concerned with the
safety of our employees," said Nancy Staples, R.N., M.S., M.B.A.,
associate director for state hospitals. "We recognize our nurses,
technicians and administrative staff work in challenging and
sometimes unpredictable environments where there is a possibility
violence can occur.
"We have taken proactive steps to reduce
violence in our facilities, including the development of violence
prevention programs and extensive pre-admission screenings for
at-risk patients, followed by an appropriate treatment plan. We not
only want to ensure safety for our workers but reduce the threat of
violence against other patients as well.
"Working in state psychiatric hospitals is a high-risk business,
and this is not exclusive to Illinois. Our nurses remain on the
front line of critical care and mental health treatment and are
valued in their service to our state," she said.
The Illinois Department of Human Services currently serves nearly
1,500 patients at nine state-operated mental health facilities.
Department of Human Services news release]