By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Following up on a CBS3 investigation started in May, a growing number of nurses are being abused inside hospitals locally and around the country. The latest happened in Minnesota.
Surveillance video from a Minneapolis hospital shows a 68-year-old patient attacking nurses with a bar pulled from the side of his hospital bed. Described as being delusional and paranoid, the patient starts in the nurses’ station and chases them into a hallway, hitting four of them.
The police chief Paul Schnell says, “Two of them actually fell down in the hallway and they were repeatedly struck by the man with the pole.”
Patty Eakin, president of the Pennsylvania Association of staff nurses says, “Nursing’s a very difficult job these days. We experience a lot of workplace violence and I believe it’s increasing.” She says violence against nurses is a growing problem.
For our special report in May, I interviewed several local nurses who had been attacked. This bite from a patient left one nurse with post-traumatic stress. The nurse said, “The hardest part for me was not feeling safe. It was hard to comprehend that another person would be capable of just that kind of violence.” Another says, “It happens on a regular basis.”
Nurses are pushing for legislation in Pennsylvania that would require hospitals to create tough workplace violence prevention programs.
Patty says, “It’s hard for most nurses, some of them feel like they’re working in a war zone.”
The legislation is still pending in Harrisburg.
In that attack in Minneapolis, two nurses were injured. The patient who attacked them died after being handcuffed. His cause of death hasn’t been determined.