Nova Scotia

Nurse assaulted by patient at Hants Community Hospital, RCMP say

A 40-year-old male patient has been taken into custody after he allegedly assaulted a nurse and two security guards at Hants Community Hospital in Windsor, N.S., RCMP spokesman Const. Mark Skinner said Wednesday.

A 40-year-old male patient has been taken into custody, RCMP say

RCMP say a male patient is in custody after allegedly assaulting three staff members at Hants Community Hospital Tuesday evening. (Robert Short/CBC)

A male patient allegedly assaulted three staff members at Hants Community Hospital in Windsor, N.S., Tuesday evening, RCMP say.

The man faces charges of assault and causing a disturbance, RCMP spokesman Const. Mark Skinner said Wednesday evening.

The man accused of assaulting hospital staff created a disturbance in the emergency room around 8 p.m. Tuesday, RCMP say. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Around 8 p.m on Nov. 10, Windsor district RCMP responded to a 40-year-old man "causing disturbance to other individuals that were in the emergency department," Skinner said. 

The patient assaulted a nurse and two security guards, he said. 

"I don't think there were any injuries — or very minor if any — in that respect," Skinner said.

Police and hospital staff determined the patient was medically fit to leave care and was taken into custody, he said. The man spent the day in a holding cell because Wednesday was Remembrance Day, Skinner said. 

The man will likely appear in Kentville provincial court later this week, Skinner said. 

'Let's not wait for someone to die'

The Nova Scotia Nurses' Union released a statement Thursday that says claims to the province's workers' compensation board by health-care workers are 54 per cent more common than in the construction sector. 

In 2014, there were 152 claims resulting from violent incidents in health care, the union says.

"Nurses must know that violence and aggression are not 'just a part of the job' and that with the right policies, procedures, protections and infrastructure in place, we can dramatically reduce the number of violent incidents," the release said. 

The union said violent patients are typically not at fault for their behaviour, but too often are discharged from forensic units and group homes. Emergency rooms are not the right places for the care they require, the union says.

In the release, union president Janet Hazelton says the union want to sit down with the provincial health authority to develop a strategy that keeps health-care providers, security professionals and patients safe.

"Let's not wait for someone to die, and let's stop relying on luck," the statement says.