A law enacted by the Arkansas General Assembly in 2023 requires hospitals and clinics to post signs stating that attacking a healthcare worker is a felony. The types of incidents addressed by the law are more common than you might think, ACHI Health Policy Director Craig Wilson writes in a guest column for Talk Business & Politics: According to one report, assaults on nursing personnel occur slightly more often than twice an hour.
Wilson discusses how violence against healthcare workers is contributing to burnout, which will exacerbate existing workforce shortages. An ACHI analysis released in December found that more than one-third of Arkansans live in health professional shortage areas, and six of the state’s counties have only one full-time primary care doctor apiece.
For more on what can be done to protect healthcare workers form violence, see our explainer.