A nurse was seriously injured in an attack Monday, allegedly by the husband of a patient, while working at the Dr.-Georges-L-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, N.B.
Norma Melanson, the nurse’s mother, told Radio-Canada her daughter was attacked by the husband of a patient.
The man was allegedly upset his wife had been transferred from her room to an area closer to the nurses’ station because she was suffering seizures.
The attack allegedly went on for 11 minutes in the nurse’s office behind closed doors before security arrived. The man was allegedly holding her by the throat when they were found, Melanson said.
The nurse was transported to the emergency room, where she was treated for a brain contusion and a broken nose.
She is now suffering from headaches, nausea and vomiting due to the brain injury, and has two black eyes and a swelling near one eye, her mother told Radio-Canada.
CBC News has contacted New Brunswick and Codiac Regional RCMP to determine their involvement in the case and if charges have been laid, and have not yet received a response.
Paula Doucet, president of the New Brunswick Nurses Union, said in an email to Radio-Canada that staffing levels in hospitals can provoke tense situations.
“We know that our hospitals and other health care facilities are overcrowded and understaffed, increasing the risk of frustration and episodes of violence,” Doucet said.
Union vice-president Maria Richard said new legislation that will be in effect on April 1 will require employers like hospitals to do risk assessments of violence in the workplace.
Richard said the nature of nurses’ work makes them vulnerable because they deal with people in high-stress situations who can lash out verbally or physically.
“It seems to be that it’s OK to yell and scream at people, and we need to shift that culture.”
The legislation will amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to cover violence in the workplace. Richard said New Brunswick is the last province to implement this kind of legislation. She said a study in 2017 showed 63 per cent of nurses in New Brunswick have experienced different types of workplace violence.
Vitalité Health Network said in an email statement that it has a zero-tolerance policy regarding violence in the workplace.
“We take each of these situations very seriously and provide support services to all affected employees,” the statement said.
“Any incident in which a staff member is threatened, abused or assaulted is immediately reported and necessary actions are taken.”
This story originally appeared on CBC