From NJTV News, May 27, 2015
HPAE was featured on an NJTV news segment regarding workplace violence. HPAE member Sandra Giancarlo spoke about her own personal experience with being assaulted by a patient. HPAE Vice President Bernie Gerard discussed the need to enforce strongly existing regulations regarding the prevention of workplace violence and HPAE’s concerns about the NJ Department of Health’s failure to ensure compliance by hospitals around the state.
“I was screaming basically for my life,”said Sandra Giancarlo. She’s talking about getting attacked by a patient in the mental health ward where she worked as a nurse last January. She says the woman grabbed her by the hair.
“She was whipping me around by my hair, throwing me up against the desk. She weighed almost 400 pounds and I weigh 98. So it was scary. I was literally fighting for my life,” she said.
Giancarlo’s still recovering from surgery for a torn ACL and herniated disc. She’s among thousands of health workers injured by violence on the job — more than 11,000 in 2010, says the U.S. Department of Labor. In the private sector, violence accounted for 4 percent of workplace injuries overall in 2013, but that rate tripled for health care and social service employees.