November 24, 2014

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Ohio Senate OKs increased penalties for hurting nurses, other health care workers

COLUMBUS — A bill increasing penalties for hurting a nurse or other health care worker on the job has unanimously cleared the Ohio Senate.

The measure imposes penalties as serious as fifth-degree felonies for assault of an on-duty nurse, health care professional or hospital security officer. It cleared the Senate unanimously today.

Ohio law provides for tougher penalties for assaults in certain circumstances, including attacks against workers at correctional facilities and people providing emergency medical services. However, those who assaulted nurses and other health care workers had not previously faced the stiffer punishments.

Through a last-minute amendment, judges and certain other court personnel also were added to the list, sending the bill back to the House.

Nurse assault has been a growing problem, both in Ohio and nationally.