Franklin Hospital staff and leaders rallied behind a nurse who was injured when she was attacked by a patient late last week.
Representatives from the New York State Nurses Association organized the vigil Tuesday morning outside the North Valley Stream hospital. They, along with local medical professionals, called for an end to workplace violence and increased legislation to protect nurses.
On Sept. 10 at 1:30 p.m., a psychiatric patient reportedly broke a chair and beat a 53-year-old nurse with one of its legs. She suffered injuries to her head, face and neck, and had to be transported to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset for further treatment.
Police arrested a 23-year-old man from Springfield Gardens in Queens, and charged him with first-degree assault. Nancy Joly-Murphy, a representative with NYSNA, said the nurse was just trying to give the patient his medication when he turned violent.
“Violence in the workplace is just an escalating situation,” Joly-Murphy said. “We want everyone to work together to address these issues.”
The nurse is going to need surgery in the coming days because of the extent of her injuries, Joly-Murphy said. She said her association, as well as the nurses at Franklin Hospital, will stand behind the victim during her recovery, which is expected to take months. The injured nurse has worked at the hospital for 28 years.
Joe Manopella, executive director of the hospital, said he is appalled by the “senseless act of violence against one of our own.” He said that hospital officials will work closely with the nurses association to find ways to provide a safer workplace for its employees.
Manopella also noted that Franklin and North Shore-LIJ officials have strongly supported legislation, which was recently passed by the state Legislature, making attacks on nurses a felony. That law goes into effect in November.
NYSNA representative Lorraine Seidel said the new law can’t come soon enough. “Come Nov. 1,” she said, “if you assault a nurse, you are in the same trouble as if you assault a police officer.”