This Is A Hospital Not Death Row Records

This is a medical facility NOT Death Row Records or some flight club. However, patients are being admitted to our nursing units with the energy as Suge Knight and Mike Tyson in his prime. This may sound a little extreme but its not and there are alarming facts to back it up. Violence against nurses is becoming a national epidemic and one that cannot and will not be tolerated. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 75 percent of nearly 25,000 workplace assaults reported annually occurred in health care and social service settings and workers in health care settings are four times more likely to be victimized than workers in private industry. We became Nurses to nurture, serve, protect, advocate, and save lives not to get beat the f*ck down. Excuse my language but that is what is literally happening and Nurses are even dying.

News station WAFB-9 reported that in April 2019, Lynne Truxillo, a Nurse on a behavioral health unit at Baton Rouge General Medical Center, was killed by a patient. According to a police report, the patient violently grabbed Nurse Truxillo by the back of the neck and “violently pushed (her) head downward striking it on a desk.”  While trying to pull away Nurse Truxillo injured her right leg ultimately tearing her right ACL, which would require surgery. However, she died 5 days after the vicious attack when she developed difficulty breathing, went into cardiac arrest, and could not be revived. An autopsy by East Baton Rouge Coroner Dr. Beau Clark revealed Nurse Truxillo suffered a blood clot in her leg and bilateral lungs.  Her death was ruled a homicide because it was a direct result of the attack. The patient turned attacker Jessie Guillory has since been charged with manslaughter.

As Nurses, we have a right to walk out of our facilities the same way we walked into them. We have loved ones who care about us, who love us and depend on us. There should be a zero-tolerance for any type of patient on Nurse violence.  I was caring for a patient who started yelling me and grabbing at my scrubs. I immediately walked out of the triage room and reported the incident while making it known I no longer wanted any more interactions with this patient. Well, my feelings were disregarded and a few days later I was approached about the incident in an integratory fashion and reprimanded as to how I could have prevented it. As Nurses we sometimes get our feelings hurt, we can feel isolated, and alone and this was one of those moments for me. I felt no one cared if I was okay and nothing happened to the patient.

Incidents like mine may explain why workplace violence is grossly underreported. According to The Joint Commission's Sentinel Event Alert, Only 30 percent of nurses report incidents of workplace violence; among emergency department physicians, the reporting rate is 26 percent. Underreporting is due in part to healthcare workers thinking that violence is “part of the job.” Also, worker-to-worker verbal abuse in health care has been accepted too often, leading to thinking that workers must accept verbal abuse from patients, too.


Why are Nurses getting beat up and killed? Have you been a victim of workplace violence or witnessed it? What can be done to stop this epidemic?


Written by Glenda Hargrove, BSN, RN. Owner of Pill Apparel with over 10 years in a variety of clinical settings including Acute Care, Long Term Care, Primary Care, Corrections, and Telehealth. Shop Pill Apparel Nursing themed clothing at Follow Pill Apparel on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Pinterest. RIP Nurse Lynne Truxillo on YouTube