Physically Asssulted at work

  1. I was caring for a detained (ITA) psychiatric patient on a Medical/Stroke unit when he physically assulted me at the nurse station punching me multiple times in the face head then tackling me to the floor where he continued to punch me. I suffered severe whiplash, low back strong and emotional damge. I have still not returned to work due to my injuries and was forced to take a pay cut due to L&I coverage only being 60% of my wages. What kind of protection to Nurses have in situations like this. Multiple request were made to administrtaion regarding this patient before the attack on how dangerous he was and the fear of him attacking staff or patients, request were not attacked upon quickly enough. The patient did get placement into a psychiatric facility the same day of my attack. The attack was witnessed by multiple staff memebers and a surgeon who did not intervene due to lack of training in regards to self defense. Any suggestions on how to further protect myself and coworkers? Or suggestions on recieving my full wages while rehabing?
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    About theview

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 10; Likes: 1


  3. by   jetsy62
    You should not have a pay loss. Is this not worker's comp? Why would they even put you on disability? Something is not right here, unless your state is different than mine.
  4. by   theview
    I live in Washington and for a single with no dependents L&I is only 60% of your earned wages. It doesnt make any sense considering I was beat up at work then recieved a pay cut. Thats why I am asking if anyone knows what to do. I filed a grievence with my Union stating my situation and requesting full pay but was denied. The worst part of my situation is the week before my attack I attended a meeting with administraton advocating for my unit, explaining how dangerous this patient was and warned them that he was going to attack someone and how he was decompensating. Two weeks prior to the attack a judge ruled we couldn not force antipsychotics and he must consent to them, which for a paranoid schizophrenic this was not going to happen. So he had not been taking any antipsychotics which was the whole reason he was detained on a 180 day hold to begin with. Someone has told me that the hospital is protected under Title 51 for being held accountable from staff pursing legal action, but im not familar with the law. Any suggestions?
  5. by   theview
    I have a C2-C7 strain, muskoskeletal damgage in my neck, and low back strain and the emotional damage from the assult. I have been off work for almost 3 months doing PT/Chiropractic/Massage therapy and am not even close to being back to baseline. I have severe decreased ROM in my neck due to the muscle injuries.
  6. by   DSkelton711
    I don't have much to offer, but wanted to say how sorry I am that this happened to you. I know recently there was a thread on the site about a nurse who had been assaulted and what she had gone through and she is in the public eye now trying to advocate for others. Maybe this can be moved to a different category for more responses. Have you contacted a labor lawyer or can you do that being in a union? Good luck to you, praying for healing for you.
  7. by   theview
    Thank you, do you recall what thread it was in? Im new to posting so wasnt really sure where to put this.
  8. by   anotherone
    get a lawyer knowledgeable on employement and state laws. and report the assult to the police. psych pt or not. if this happened anywhere else a da would pursue this as he/ she should. let the judge decide prision, mandatory psych meds etc. these things make me so disgusted. i think a little bad (accurate) press would do wonders
  9. by   theview
    The assault was reported and the police came to the hospital after the attack, but you know thanks to the lovely ITA status he was not arrested at that time. Acutally he still hasnt even been prosecuted and its been almost 3 months. What irritates me the most is what kind of support does it show for healthcare workers? I can only imagine if he would of assulted the judge or a police officer that the case would be moving a little bit faster. The bad thing about involoving the press is I have to think about retaliation and my employer trying to run me out the door in the future, which is not something im not trying to encounter.
  10. by   jetsy62
    I still don't think this is a situation where disability should apply. I am not saying that you are not disabled, but it is because of a work related injury therefore it is worker's comp. My mom handles HR issues at her work and I ran this past her and she said yep, w/c claim. Not that I am saying that my mom knows everything, but I would def look into this. Something is not right with the way it is being handled. Therefore, you should be receiving your pay as applicable to w/c, not disability. Disability should be for an injury or illness not work related. I think someone is trying to not file a w/c claim at your facility but that is just my opinion ... and you know what they say about those. Seriously, I think you should at least pursue it further with union, lawyers, something. I hope this all works out for you but it does not seem fair on some many levels. Good luck.
  11. by   theview
    Oh sorry if I caused any confusion. I am on workers comp through L&I, but I live in Washington and base rate is 60% of your pay, if you have depenedents or are married they factor that and the percentage increrases but i have neither. I do qualify for long term disability soon because it has been almost 90days since the attack and 90days is the waiting period, that will cover the other 40% i have been missing. But it doesnt make up for the past 3 months where I have only recieved 60%. This whole situation is so screwed up in so many ways. Who would of thought you could get beat up at work then have to taken a pay cut, especially after warning administration this patient was going to attack and hurt someone. My man question is I was told Hospitals are protected by Title 51 which protects them from being suid by employees. Is there anyway around this considering I advocated for myself and others warning administration that this patient was going to attack someone???
  12. by   eatmysoxRN
    Your best option would be to consult an attorney. It certainly doesn't seem right that you'd be penalized for a work related injury especially when it could have been prevented. Best of luck to you!
  13. by   itsmejuli
    If I was in your shoes I'd have contacted an attorney as soon as I got out of the ER.
  14. by   fibroblast
    I am sorry this happened. Did you sign the 'free of liability' papers before you started work? There is a risk with working with psychiatric patients.