Nurse slapped while trying to treat teen patient

Image: Deneesha Pillay

A teenager is due to appear in court charged with assaulting a nurse while he was being treated for a stab wound at the Motherwell Community Health Centre at the weekend.

Provincial health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said on Sunday police had arrested the 16-year-old after nurses complained of an assault.

“They have taken him to a juvenile detention centre and he is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow [Monday].”

Kupelo said the incident occurred while nurses were trying to treat the youth after he was admitted to the health centre late on Saturday night with a stab wound.

“It was an open wound but he refused to have it stitched and then reportedly slapped the nurse in the face.

“The police were called and security guards responded. He wanted to attack them.”

The assailant fled from the hospital without being sutured.

“The nurses opened a case of assault.”

As a result of the attack, nurses refused to work on Sunday and the department’s district manager is negotiating with them, he said.

“The department will offer counselling to the affected staff, the nurses and the security guards who were on duty at the time and might be traumatised.

“If necessary, the nurse will take time off to ensure that she recovers from this ordeal.

“It is worth noting that the attack did not happen because of lax security or a breach in security,” he said.

“We will use law enforcement agencies in cases in which patients continue behaving like this.”

The department was calling on patients to stop this sort of behaviour, Kupelo said.

“There will be no-one to help them if such behaviour continues as our nurses and doctors might be too scared to treat them.

“Because of this act of criminality by the patient, services at that facility are at a standstill.”

The incident follows an attack on a woman doctor at Bloemfontein’s Pelonomi Hospital.

On Tuesday last week, a patient allegedly tried to rape a woman doctor and she responded by biting his tongue so badly that he needed surgery.

This weekend, a woman doctor was robbed of her cellphone at gunpoint in a parking area.

She screamed for help and the three would-be robbers fled after a scuffle with unarmed security guards.