A nurse at Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital is recovering at home after being assaulted by a patient yesterday.
The nurse was treated for a broken cheekbone in what the hospital is describing as an unprovoked attack.
Hospital Chief Executive Kevin Snee said violence against staff was not tolerated and action will be taken against people who target staff.
In our informal survey, the patients most frequently reported as violent were also among the most vulnerable. Almost all were suffering from dementia, psychosis, PTSD or traumatic brain injury.
Psychiatric instability can also make patients, even young children, act out aggressively. Sometimes, nurses endure many non-life-threatening acts of anger in a single shift.
Another nurse, Kim Ostrander Crum, gives this account of what it’s like for her: “I work in a children’s psychiatric facility. I’m attacked routinely—trash can thrown at my head, punched, kicked, bitten, spit on and (my particular favorite) breasts pinched. That was all in one day.”