Latest Attack on Idaho Caregiver Rekindles Debate About Protection 

Caregivers had told lawmakers that their profession saw three times as many violent incidents as any other private sector profession.

Earlier this year, the Idaho Legislature took up a proposed measure which would have strengthened protections for healthcare workers across the state. House Bill 292 would have made assaults on caregivers—particularly in the state's emergency rooms—a felony.

But Lt. Gov. Brad Little cast a rare tie-breaking "no" vote March 28, killing the bill.

This morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that a caregiver working in the emergency room at St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center on Sept. 11 was attacked by a man who grabbed the caregiver's throat before a doctor could tackle the attacker to the ground.

59-year-old Robert Bower of Twin Falls was charged with a misdemeanor battery.

Police said Bower had been brought to the hospital for observation, but ripped an IV out of his arm, reached up and choked the female caregiver. Bower had to be put in restraints until police arrived. He remained at the hospital for treatment until Sept. 12 but when he was released, Bower was taken to the Twin Falls County Jail.

Healthcare providers told lawmakers earlier this year that their profession experienced three times as many violent incidents as any other private sector profession.

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