(NewsNation Now) — As reports of nurses being assaulted are on the rise across the country, a southwest Missouri hospital has armed its medical personnel with a tool to report confrontations instantly.
Cox Medical Center Branson is using grant money to add panic buttons to identification badges worn by employees who work in the emergency room and inpatient hospital rooms.
These buttons work as beacons and alert others that help is needed.
Pushing the button will immediately alert hospital security, launching a tracking system that will send help to the endangered worker.
“Sometimes this would be an absolute potential lifesaver,” said registered nurse Cheyenne Hensley while holding the panic button clipped to her uniform.
CoxHealth’s director of safety and security, Alan Butler, said the panic buttons “fill a critical void.”
“Personal Panic Buttons are one more tool in the battle to keep our staff safe and further demonstrate this organization’s commitment to maintaining a safe work and care environment,” Butler said in a statement.
Total assaults at the Missouri hospital have tripled and nurses across the country are reporting more assaults inside their hospitals, while they are treating patients.
A rising number of incidents has also been reported in Idaho, Texas and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
More than three-quarters of registered nurses say they’ve been assaulted in the past year, according to the New England School of Medicine.
One-third of these threats were motivated by COVID-19 fears and misinformation, according to a worldwide study done on why these attacks are happening.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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