|Eurica Walters-Rodney, RN, was brutally attacked. Now she is breaking the silence and demanding action to stop workplace attacks.|
Too often when a nurse is assaulted, hospital administrators, security, and the police pressure the nurse to stay silent and hide their problems.
A Brooklyn nurse is helping to break the silence.
Eurica Walters-Rodney, RN, a psych nurse at Woohdull in Brooklyn, has had enough.
On August 10, a patient jumped the counter, grabbed Rodney, put her in a chokehold, and sent her to the emergency room.
The attack left Rodney with scars on her face. She is on a leave of absence from work.
As she was being wheeled to the emergency room, she told New York City Hospital Police that she wanted to press charges against her assailant. They did nothing, and so Rodney took her case to the NYPD’s 79th Precinct.
Under New York state law, assaulting a nurse is a Class D felony – the same as assaulting a police officer.
Police at the 79th Precinct promised to do an investigation, but four weeks later they have not started their investigation. They repeatedly asked Rodney why Hospital Police took no action.
“I’ve been hit before,” said Rodney. “But this was the first time blood was shed.”
Rodney says the unit she was working on is chronically under-staffed.
On the day of the assault, there were just two nurses, and no LPN, caring for 20 patients.
Since there was no LPN, one RN had to administer medication – leaving Eurica alone to deal with the needs of 20 patients.
Rodney is joining other NYSNA nurses to take their case to the New York City Council – to speak out for enforcement of New York’s law against assaulting a nurse, and to demand adequate staffing in HHC facilities.
At the hospital, union nurses are demanding a meeting with hospital police and the 79th Precinct. Their message: it's time to take violence against nurses seriously.
“Nurses deserve the protection of the law,” Rodney says. “This sends the wrong message to nurses and to our patients – it teaches people that they can hurt a nurse and get away with it.”
Do you have a story you need to tell to the City Council? Contact NYSNA Community Affairs Rep Carol Pittman with your story today.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.