The House Health Policy Committee has approved a plan sponsored by state Rep. Douglas Wozniak, of Shelby Township, to help employees in Michigan’s health care sector recover from traumatic events in the workplace.
“Hospital workers throughout Michigan have been experiencing increasing incidents of violence and harassment,” Wozniak said. “And it’s starting to take a serious toll.”
Wozniak said health care workers experience violence in the workplace four times more often than other professions.
His bill would establish confidentiality and legal protections for health care employees receiving critical incident stress management (CISM) services. CISM is a voluntary intervention process designed to help individuals dealing with traumatic stress in the workplace, carried out by a response team of trained peers. It does not replace formal psychotherapy, but has proved to be an effective initial response for health care facilities experiencing lost productivity due to critical incident stress.
In 2016, Gov. Rick Snyder signed Michigan’s first and only CISM statute, which provided public safety officers with confidentiality and legal protections. But the measure did not extend to health care professionals who provide emergency medical services on a routine basis. Wozniak’s bill would broaden the scope to include those individuals.
“We must support the physicians, nurses and support staff who regularly put their own safety at risk to save the lives of others,” Wozniak said. “By ensuring their legal protection, those experiencing trauma can feel safe when participating in CISM services.”
House Bill 4862 now advances to the House Ways and Means Committee for consideration.