ASH Watch

Six nursing employees hurt at Atascadero State Hospital in 7 days

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comNovember 16, 2012 

Six nursing employees at Atascadero State Hospital were hurt while working with aggressive patients in recent days, reporting injuries ranging from a cut on the head to neck and groin pain, according to a preliminary report from the facility released Thursday.

The reports are being investigated, ASH spokeswoman Martha Staib said. Violent acts by patients are not uncommon at the psychiatric facility for men who have committed or are accused of crimes.

Here is a rundown on the incidents:

On Nov. 8, a nursing employee encountered an aggressive patient in a main hallway and suffered neck pain. A nursing employee could be a psychiatric technician or a registered nurse.

The next day, a student training to be a nursing employee was injured during an aggressive incident that resulted in a head abrasion that required first aid.

The two employees injured Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 went home to recover, Staib said.

On Nov. 11, two more nursing employees were hurt — one suffered a fall during an attack that led to head and neck discomfort and an elbow abrasion. The other employee was scratched on the nose while they were trying to stabilize the patient, Staib said.

On Nov. 12, a male employee was attacked and suffered minor injuries to his shoulder and groin.

Two days later, a different nursing employee was treated for a lower-back strain while stabilizing a patient.

Staff names are not released and job titles remain general in attack reports to protect the identity of employees, officials said. Patients’ names and injuries are not given because of  federal law.

Earlier this month, four additional employees were involved in aggressive incidents with patients at ASH, according to a previous report from the facility. Those acts ranged in injuries from bruises to muscle pain.

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