Some of the comments from Virginia's emergency physicians to Senators:
"We routinely take care of those prone to extreme violence, those intoxicated or belligerent, and those too violent or agitated even for jail. ED physicians are unable to hide personal contact info and addresses from disgruntled patients and families and can't even protect ourselves after work within our homes. Just this week, a gun went off in the ED closest to my home where I routinely work by a patient assaulting a police officer, and another officer was hit. The physical and verbal abuse and violence toward all ED staff is out of control. This bill is a decent start, but we need even more. We are sitting ducks."
"I have been practicing as a full time Emergency Medicine Physician in Virginia for the past 30 years. I have been assaulted by patients hundreds of times; I have been punched, kicked, spit on, and had objects thrown at me and weapons pointed at me. All this from the patients whose lives I'm trying to save. I don't expect patients to thank me for doing my job. I do however insist on the same rights and protection other professionals, and society at large, receive. And I insist on being able to perform my work without fearing for my safety and the safety of the other Emergency Department staff."
"I have frequently had to check my own nurses and techs into the department as patients after combative patients have punched and kicked them in the face and other areas, leading to fractures and bleeding. This is on top of verbal abuse and threats to follow my staff home, or to shoot/stab them when they leave the department."