A nurse was knocked unconscious, was turning purple, had no pulse and had to be revived by a doctor in an assault reported by the nurses’ union at Adelaide’s Modbury Hospital.
- A nurse was found on the ground of a patient’s room after being knocked unconscious
- The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation is calling for safer working conditions
- Fellow nurses claim they are not being told about assaults and abuse by patients in the workplace
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) said the assault was part of “rising violence” in the city’s hospitals.
It said the woman was found on the floor of an elderly male patient’s room last Sunday afternoon.
The union said she was revived after a doctor administered CPR and was then admitted to the emergency department before being released the next afternoon.
ANMF chief executive Elizabeth Dabars said SA Health needed to be responsible for providing safe working conditions.
“Just as concerning is the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network’s failure to provide support to the nurse after the attack with no contact made to her by management since her discharge from hospital,” Ms Dabars said.
“The chief executive of SA Health is the legal employer for the purposes of workplace health and safety.
“Given the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network’s terrible track record in recent times we believe that delegation of responsibility for compliance on work and health safety should be revoked and SA Health take direct responsibility for ensuring that staff are working in a safe environment.”
She said the patient who attacked the nurse had severe dementia and was later transferred to the Lyell McEwin Hospital.
However the union said Lyell McEwin staff were not immediately told about the assault or earlier incidents of assaults and abuse by the patient, which included spitting at staff.
“The patient is now being provided with care in a treatment room at the Lyell McEwin Hospital which is poorly designed or equipped for their care needs and the hospital is refusing to provide additional nursing staff to ensure that care is appropriate,” Ms Dabars said.
“This is yet another case where the local managers are clearly failing to meet their duty of care to their nursing staff.”
Health Minister Stephen Wade said he understood the nurse was “doing well” .
“We’re certainly keen to make sure that our hospitals are safer places,” he said.
“There has been an increase in violence in our in our hospitals in recent years.
“That’s why SA Health is out for constant consultation with its workforce to develop a Challenging Behaviours Framework: a very, very strong toolkit to help our workforce — both nurses, doctors, allied health — to stay safe in the workplace.”
There were already safety concerns at the Lyell McEwin Hospital after a nurse was stabbed in the neck there in June 2019.