New assault on nurse intensifies safety concerns at hospital

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — The brutal attack on a nurse at Washington state’s troubled psychiatric hospital last weekend was one in a series of assaults that have staff so on edge that they’re holding a rally to demand changes.

Staff say another nurse was attacked at Western State Hospital this week, just days after the incident on Sunday in which a patient punched the nurse, knocked her to the floor and stomped on her head. The latest case involved a psychiatric nurse working on the high-security forensic unit at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. The patient walked up to the nurse and hit her in the head with his fist, according to the nursing report acquired by The Associated Press.

The 850-bed facility has been under investigation for years for health and safety violations.

Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jay Inslee, said the governor has asked for a full review of worker safety.