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Coronavirus in Texas

Half of Texas' nurses experience workplace violence. A Texas lawmaker says it’s time to protect them.

Now praised as heroes of the pandemic, nurses and other front-line medical workers have been routinely scratched, bitten or verbally abused by patients. Well over half of Texas' nurses reported being subject to workplace violence in their career, according to a 2016 state study.

Steven D. Powell is a nurse with the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Feb. 6, 2021.

“Many members of the general public, they're like, 'Are you kidding me? People assault nurses?' They don't understand that it's a problem'”

— Cindy Zolnierek, head of the Texas Nurses Association
A nurse visits a COVID-19 patient in the SIDU COVID-19 ward at the DHR Health Center in Edinburg on June 30, 2020.
Steven D. Powell, a nurse with Texas Medical Center in Houston, poses for a portrait on Feb. 6, 2021.

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