Nurse assaulted by patient at St. Joseph’s
A union leader wants St. Joseph’s to double up staff when interacting with patients, following a nursing assault.
Domenic DiPasquale, president of CUPE Local 786 said that at about 5:30 a.m. Friday, a registered practical nurse was approached by a patient in the Schizophrenia Unit at St. Joseph’s West 5th campus, seeking medication. He accompanied her to the desk as she retrieved the medication, followed her back, and when she began treating him, “he proceeded to try to kiss her.”
When she backed away, he tackled and groped her private parts, said DiPasquale.
“She was tackled, but she got free,” at which point she alerted staff nearby. The patient is now receiving one-on-one care from a male staff member, he said.
A code white alert was never called by the nurse, he added, because there was other staff nearby.
St. Joseph’s spokesperson Agnes Bongers confirmed via email an incident took place Friday, saying it would be inappropriate for the hospital to “go into detail at this point.
“We moved quickly to ensure the right support was in place for the staff member involved, that all safety systems were functioning, and that the patient’s condition and circumstances were reviewed to determine most appropriate care and staff safety,” Bongers wrote.
The hospital will review the event to determine if other safety measures are needed for staff and patients, she added.
“Any time you are by yourself, you are at more risk,” said DiPasquale, who hopes security teams will also begin hallway patrols as they do at St. Joseph’s Charlton site.
From Dec. 16 to Feb. 3, there were at least six incidents of violent assaults at St. Joseph’s. On Dec. 16, two nurses suffered concussions after repeated punches to the head. During a Jan. 20 assault, several personal alarms failed, prompting the hospital to announce it would be replacing its system.
Hamilton Police, contacted Saturday evening, said they had no information about the incident.