The Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation says abusive and aggressive behaviour towards nursing staff in hospitals has become an expected part of the job.
The union was responding to Roscommon FF TD Eugene Murphy who told Midwest News earlier that he was shocked at the level of abuse and aggression directed at staff in the Emergency Dept of St James Hospital in Dublin during a recent overnight stay in the facility.
He said he witnessed similar incidents in recent years at Galway University Hospital, and is calling on his Dail colleagues to introduce legislation to address the problem.
The INMO says frustration at hospital overcrowding is part of the reason for the abuse directed at staff.
Meanwhile, there are 557 patients on hospital trolleys across the country on this last day of 2019.
In this region, 30 patients are waiting for a bed at UHG, 24 at Sligo University Hospital and 13 at Mayo University Hospital.