Please watch this. We as a health care tribe will stay #silentnomore in the face of the suffering of our own.

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And please send your notes of support to her:

Delnor Nurse

PO Box 394

Sycamore IL 60178

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40 Responses to “The Delnor Nurse’s Story”

  1. Angy Phillips-Buihner

    I have said this for years. I got kicked and to avoid being kicked in the face, I jerked away. I was told in court (yes, it had to go there and I had to settle before I lost everything I owned) that I did not use proper body mechanics when I avoided the kick to the face. No-one backs us, so if we don’t take care of each other, we are sunk. We work in the only profession that this is not only acceptable, but expected. You couldn’t go into the bank and kick the teller in the face and expect no repercussions. There are starting to be fewer of us on the front line, the patients are getting bigger and bigger and the work loads are getting heavier and heavier. We are killing our health and killing our bodies. I love my job, but am facing the reality that I won’t be able to do it forever, I know several that are looking into something else to do, so we are going to lose a LOT of out experienced nurses. When I am able to actually help my patient and make a difference, it fills a need that I have. Most good nurses got into nursing to fulfill something within themselves. And sadly that is getting harder to come by. The recovery time when you work 4-6 12 hour shifts takes longer There are days I wake up after 4 hours and worry and fret about what I will be walking into that night that I have to psych myself up in order to even get out of bed to get ready.

  2. Deb Welty

    We stay silent because NO ONE listens to us!! I have been a nurse for 30 years and right now I have had it with the whole healthcare system

    • Cynthia Jackson

      Me too

    • Christine Freeman

      27 years for me. If someone assaulted me on the street, or at the mall, they would go to jail. Stepping inside the doors of a hospital should NOT make a difference!

  3. kainos202

    Personal experience… Legislatures are passing laws that automatically upgrade assault against healthcare workers to a felony, but cops have told me that the DA told them they won’t follow this. They have “prosecutorial discretion.”

  4. Judy Fasci

    I lost my court case from an ER assault.. Guess it was okay to be grabbed by the throat. Oh wait, she was drunk and depressed.. That explains it.

  5. Beth Anne Algie

    It is a well hushed secret. I know no health care professional that has not experienced abuse, threats and violence. When I got to the point that manually moving the butts of GUNS away from pointing to me, no longer fazed me, I switched jobs. Seriously!

  6. Sarah Baxa

    I take issue with the initial reporting of the story. Do we know for sure at the time of the initial reporting the media knew she was harmed? They report what they know. Additionally, what happened to her is something not everyone would want to go public. Perhaps the press release from the hospital was purposefully misleading because of the sensitive nature of the events? We don’t have to use the word “raped” and perhaps the media should’ve reported a nurse was harmed but again, the story was corrected. I only bring it up because the misrepresentation at the outset caused her emotional pain.

    • La Laura

      Did you watch both videos? The nurse gave her consent to him along with her sister present to witness. She wanted her story heard

      • Karen

        She’s talking about the initial reporting of the incident.

  7. Marsha McGlamry

    We have to make assualting a Nurse a felony. As it is hitting a nurse is a free shot, they can’t hit doctors without more repercusions but we(Nurses) are seemingly supposed to takke our shots. We have to get behind this! Make it a national law!

  8. Bree Zee

    In NYS it is a felony to assault a nurse, however, it rarely is charged that way, so what would be an assault in the outside world is termed “harassment at most” inside the hospital. And when admin comes to investigate and get a statement, then the gaslighting happens, “what could you have done differently?” “why did the patient to that to you and no one else?” Where you are almost pressured into admitting a level of fault, which is then documented in your files.
    The rationale comes down to money. Assaults have to be reported and investigated to the State, and any number of them affects the amount of reimbursement a hospital will get from insurance and/or Medicare for treatment in a safe environment. The risk management folks will allow procecution from damage to station computers way more than assaults on staff, again because its then not a reportable offense to the DOH and OSHA and they can keep the reimbursement. The philosophical reasons to find fault with frontline staff generally happens to coincide with what saves the bottom line the most.
    Basically the law was crafted for PR sake, appease the outcry for safety, but it is only as good as the administration that is willing to gamble where to lose money: In reimbursements, workers comp, disability, legal fees, litigation, bad publicity, or losing funding and grants due to lower satisfaction scores. For a nurse or two to no longer work there is unfortunately the least consequence of this setup, experienced or not. Less experienced nurses are cheaper and easier to manipulate into thinking it’s part of the job, and likely don’t get the benefits that the older tiers get.

    /Got a couple of scars on my arm from some patient’s ‘harassment’ of us not allowing her to attack her roommate in the roommates bed.
    //punched in the head by another patient, told it must have been “my fault” since the patient didn’t have a history of violence prior to sucker punching me in the head.
    ///Was bitten by another patient, had a toe broken by yet another, kicked and bruised up by yet another…when seen in the ER for all, classified as superficial injuries therefore, they said no charges could be filed for assault or battery.

    • Rose Olivia Serio

      Bree, you wrote an outstanding overview of what goes on in the hospital system re nurse abuse by patients. It amazes me how volitional behavior goes unpunished and the nurse is held responsible for not diffusing it before it gets out of hand. My heart goes out to this nurse and her family, PTSD effects not only the victim but the family and the community at large. I am a retired nurse, having served for 45 years.

    • Alyse Mullon Tumelson

      This is spot on. Unfortunately, it makes me feel so defeated. Sigh.

      • Bree Zee

        I don’t think it’s impossible, but we desperately need more attention to staff needs, and more hospital boards going back to seeing their doctors, nurses, and cnas as long term investments. Treat them well, back them up, allow them to do their jobs safely, and it will improve patient outcomes, reduce stress, and in the long term *should* get them the high satisfaction scores and worker retention.

        However, the current business model of running hospitals focuses on short term, fiscal year reimbursements and fines, instant gratification runs the model currently. Since, depending on where you are, 50-80% of patients are via Medicare and Medicaid, each patient’s hospital stay, say for 3 days if they are extremely sick or injured, the submitted bill alone is likely going to be more than my yearly pay and is dictated by what the state tells us we should be doing for the patients.

        So if a diabetic patient kicks you for not having ice cream for them at 3am, (it’s happened) it is cheaper short term to say that you the nurse should have done better nursing teaching for healthier snack options and send a bad report of you as a resolution to the complaints.

        Long term, that kind of patient isn’t likely going to keep returning, (poor outcomes likely) and 90% of other patients won’t have any issues at all, showing staff doing a proper job at really a grade A level.

  9. Betsy Morrisroe

    I know of a medical student who was stabbed in the eye by an ER patient’s boyfriend while suturing a patient who was “tweaked out” and whining. The resident lost his eye and a potential surgical residency. We all know why the perp felt like it was something he could just do….. Where do we start?

  10. Jennifer Schultz

    Thank you for sharing your story…. I hope and pray that you find healing for your suffering.

  11. Steve Parker, M.D.

    For this to go anywhere, we need input/perspective from the police, prosecuting attorneys, and hospital administrators.

    • Nurse Undone

      that will never happen , the police , attys do not want to go against a hospital . adimins look at nurses as the enemy.
      they are worse than the Nurses Association !

  12. Christine Patrick

    Some of the truth about this, I believe, is the State of Illinois downplaying the crime and violence here. If you look, you’ll never see an episode of a police show (cops, live pd, the first 48, etc) filmed in Illinois – they won’t allow it. The have coded the police scanners, so we can’t listen in on crimes as they happen. They don’t want you to know how bad it is….I’m so sorry to hear about all this nurse has suffered.

  13. Charlene Hoppel Wilson

    I lost my job at a nursing home because a patient who had verbally sexually and physically assaulted me in the past threatened to punch me in the finger face and then punched me in the upper body 4 times….because my hands were cold.i told him to stop acting like an assignment.This patient was with it mentally.Oh did I mention I was also denied unemployment.We as healthcare workers bust our rears work crazy hours weekends and holidays we miss our family functions and yet we have no rights against abuse from patients

  14. Lubov

    Monthly we have meangless in services that are designed not to protect and help us but to cover administration in the cases if something to happens. 2- 10 min of inservice our scribble signature and later if any thing we did not follow the protocol and teaching

  15. Lubov

    Time to make healthcare workers lives matter. But this is what happens when healthcare is based on model of corporation and stock holders. Hospitals need to lure the “customers” anf will sacrifices the safety of their employees by covering up stories like that. I can’t see anything like that happening in any other country in the world.
    It came to the point that we are not allow to check patients bags on admission. I am aware for fact of the incident when while patient was in the procedure and PCA was changing the bed she noted a loaded gun in the bag.

  16. Sharon Doney

    Thankyou for this. It is important to register our outrage. I am a Registered Nurse in Australia and nothing is different here. I was working in a private hospital here and a patient threatened me repeatedly and I told him I would not come near the bed because of his behaviour. He made a complaint about me and I was told I had to apologise to him, I resigned.
    One thing I do want to say is that the media’s use of “unharmed” is not isolated to this, but is frequently used in these situations. In March of this year a further 80 school girls were released by Boko Haram after being held captive for two years. Many of the girls had been used as sex slaves for the extremists. The media stated that they had been released “unharmed”.

  17. Julie Ann

    I believe GOD put her there because she is a strong woman and strong soul and someone else may not have been strong enough. That indeed makes her a hero!

    • DegaDiva

      Julie Ann ^^This comment is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. You’re telling me that God wanted someone to assault her physically and sexually? Your God sounds like an asshole. God is our father according to my bible. If a human father showed up in the ED telling his daughter she’s a hero for going through something like this you’d report him to CPS.

  18. Deborah Thomas

    I am a BSN RN with a Masters in HC Admin I have worked in corrections for almost 10 yrs. I want to start by volunteering my services and expertise in moving forward this law. There are many issues to be considered here beginning with the training (dare I say brainwashing) that starts in NSG school. There are staffing issues in corrections similar to those in the hospital setting. I have seen 1 LVN and 1 med aide for 500 inmates. There are OJT issues and I have to ask, is there any hospital that provides routine training for handling the care of inmates? I have never worked at one that provided this. There are political issues. Take the time to research campaign contributions by privatized correctional companies to presidential and other campaigns. Millions/Billions are spent! Standards are an issue, depending on the entity in charge of the inmates housed in a particular facility, the standards vary. It is usually what I call “Mash Medicine”, one step above scotch tape and toilet paper for wound care in most county facilities if they have any medical services at all! Minimum requirements for security staff MUST be looked at. Unfortunately, in most cases a high school diploma, min 18 yoa and the ability to pass a background check and drug test are all that is required and they pay little more than minimum wage. These children with 40hrs of class room security training are now the majority employed. Seasoned correctional officers are burnt out, under paid and abused daily by both inmates and the companies they work for. Yet, they are the first line of defense for correctional nurses and the hospital staff in every hospital that allows inmates through their doors! I could write a 500 page paper on concerns with the current system that in many cases little or no over site especially when it come to municipal facilities. In the hospital do you know if the inmate you are treating is a city, county, US Marshal, BOP or ICE inmate? Shouldn’t you? It would tell you what, if any training the officer charged with securing the inmate and protecting you has had. I will spare all of you a dissertation on correctional P&P, protocol, and agency/entity guidelines and laws. But my offer is genuine and we have to do something if as HC workers we are to be safe both inside and outside of our respective facilities.

    • Karen

      Any real change is going to require a monumental effort. The medical industry will be fighting change with every dollar they have, and that’s enormous. It all boils down to GREED. Nothing is more important to hospitals than the bottom line and if they can sacrifice a few nurses to increase that line, they will do it in a heartbeat. The only thing that will bring about real change is going to have to involve the threat of potential loss of profit to hospitals. That is truly all they care about. And if change means a loss of profit, they will fight to the death. I hope this nurse has a very good lawyer because she’s up against Goliath

      • Sandy Willard

        It isn’t just the private sector that has this issue. I work for the state in mental health and the problem is identical. The hospitals need to be accountable for the patient to staff assaults. It should be made part of the Joint Commission’s Quality and Safety goals with QI research projects to determine best practice to bring numbers down. There needs to be a no tolerance policy of patients assaulting staff. I don’t care if they have a trauma history. They should not be allowed to traumatize someone else and get away with it.

  19. Rachelle Phillips

    Dear sweet Delnor Nurse…my heart just breaks for all you have been through. I stand in solidarity with you in giving your pain a voice and giving a voice to all nurses who face violence in the workplace. My prayer for you, that the Lord will restore all that is broken and transform the ashes from this into something beautiful. I pray that you feel God’s presence and the love of all of us surrounding you like wings of angels. Thank you for your courage and strength. xoxo From Barrie, ON Canada

  20. Helen Kuechl Schreiber

    The most important thing is for us to carry and pay for our own professional Liability coverage. DO NOT rely on being covered by the employers coverage. That is the kiss of death.

    You are only covered if you follow P&P to the letter. Otherwise you are cut loose and left to on your own.

  21. Barb Eggener

    I am a producer at ABC 7 Chicago. We are working on a more in-depth story that stems from the Delnor nurse being held hostage and sexually assaulted by the prisoner patient. Please let me know if there is anyone in the nursing community who would be interested in doing an on camera interview with us. I can be reached at [email protected]
    Thank you,

    • Lisa Ann Walker

      I was assaulted by a psych patient in the ER in 2005, 4 months into my nursing career. I had been a NYC Paramedic for 20 years, so I was not inexperienced, that 911 EMS background actually saved my life !
      My patient, with his family, was brought in for acting up at home. He had also been in the ER of a more distant hospital less than 5 days before for “attempting to choke his ‘teacher’.” He went from calm and cooperative to violently aggressive and delusional in a heartbeat. I immediately backed away, my arms raised to deflect blows, while trying to verbally de-escalate the situation. Over the 8 minutes it took (per hospital documentation) for help to step in, I never went on the offense, I would have been risking my license and freedom. Fortunately, the local police came in with an accident victim, who was stable, and the officers got him off of me.
      I was treated with disrespect and ridicule because I did NOT hit this man ! I was made to believe o did the wrong thing ! I did insist on filing the police report and press charges (much to my employers displeasure!).
      It was found, after some of my injuries persisted long than anticipated, that I had suffered spinal vertebrae fractures and nerve root damage which left me with lower body muscular control issues and severe pain ! I was admitted to my own hospital several times over the following year, for short periods of time, to get the pain and nerve issues under a degree of control. In the periods in between admissions, I was back working in my ER and was always given a 10-14 patient load on top of incoming ambulance patients !! I was very vocal with Nursing Administration to improve safety measures for the ER staff. After my last inpatient stay for this injury, when I called and said I had been cleared to come back….. I was told the hospital had NO job, in any department, for me!
      My victory, of sorts, came when the ADA on the case called and said the charges would be plea bargained down from felony assault to….. disorderly conduct. I said over my dead body ! I proceeded to tell the ADA which other hospitals to check with and that I had a bunch that she would find the man had a history of these type of assaults and that they were, basically, ER hopping with their mentally ill family member to avoid him being committed! She called me back a few days later and let me know that my hunch was correct, and that there were multiple incidents in less than 6 months or so. The case went to trial and the man was committed to a locked down mental facility for long term care.

  22. Hanneke ten Hulscher

    pressed charges after being assaulted in the ER, the hospital found reasons to fire me. Hospital I currently work at takes action when parents are verbally aggressive. Went back to the NICU after having being assaulted never expected this kind of aggressive behavior of parents. Guess it is every where..

  23. Anita Pierce Patterson

    But it’s the truth!! There are some, who. Given threats and ostracized by fellow staff as well, nurses treat other nurses which needs to be addressed.

  24. Todd Cherney

    As a charge nurse in a small ED my staff have ben hit scratched and fondled by drunks and narcotic abusers and I have started taking a low tolerance for putting patients in 4 point restraints, our local DA will not prosecute any violence against health care workers or police officers it is like the powers that be want to protect the people that should be taken off the streets

  25. Smith-Worthy Deborah

    Zdogg I would like information on how I can build up the awareness in my small hospital on the subject. I live in a small town where the concenus is that health care workers should just take the verbal emotional and ibysical abuse from the patients. When we call the police to have the patient arrested we are made to feel like we are weak and stupid. Many times the cases have never been persued further. I have been the victim of abuse as a child and with my first two husbands. It took me a lot of courage to stand up and walk away. So to know that my life doesn’t matter to this corporation I work for scares me. It makes me feel like I’m right back in the abusive situation. I don’t want others to ever feel this way. I don’t want my fellow nurses and physicians to feel like they are not supported. What can I do to change this behavior to show that we matter!!!!

  26. Sherry Jones Mayo

    Problem: Occupational Trauma Exposure. One mediating factor: Resilience and Coping education. As a street medic and ER/Corrections RN I lived it, but “they” told me I had no voice without academic credentials. So I got them. Now my swan song is trying to plead for healthcare and educational facilities to include resilience and coping education in their programs. To permit workshops for CEUs for nurses. Not interested. Why? The bottom line: $. Nurses are expected to have inherent skills while seeing and doing the things that “normal’ people do not see and do. When I started publishing about how emergency responders and receivers think and feel, their emotional turmoil, how it affects their lives, people in positions of power were surprised. After all, isn’t that why people get into nursing? Because they have some inborn gift to handle the situations and exposures they “chose?” The desire to be a caregiver, whether on the front line or in supportive services (like peer and crisis support programs), does not come with an endowment of expert coping skills. We have to take care of others, and to that end, we receive tons of education. But to take care of each other (remember, nurses still eat their young), to take care of ourselves, very little is promoted, known, and researched. I’m sorry for what this nurse experienced and I cannot imagine her pain, yet DrZ is right; she can get through it. The scars will remain; I pray they become badges of honor for the war zone and battle wounds she suffered.

  27. Christine Freeman

    Hi Dr. Z. Thank you for all you do to support nursing. I am finishing up my MSN, and recently completed a small project concerning violence against health care staff. I introduced you to my Wilkes University classmates, and posted a link to your Delnor Nurse video on our discussion board. I hope that we can help to support her, and also educate others about the risks some of us face every day while caring for our patients.