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Assaulted by Co-worker

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  • Assaulted by Co-worker

    My wife is a Registered Nurse with over 23 years of Critical Care, Intensive Care, Emergency and Rehab, nursing care experience. She regularly performs assistant and head-nurse duties. Her record is exemplary; she consistently receives accolades from supervisors, administration, co-workers (doctors, nurses and technicians) patients and their families.

    She has been working for over 3 years at the leading Adult Care facility on LI, NY. Her unit, the reason she went to work there, is the Rehab Unit.

    On Wed. 2/16, in an attempt to prevent a medication error, she asked a doctor on her unit to re-write an order correctly. After a few moments of berating conversation the doctor placed her hands around my wife's neck, forcefully enough to leave marks.

    The conversation and the doctor's actions were observed by a witness.

    A short time later the doctor confronted my wife, under the guise of offering an apology; she (the doctor) began to berate my wife again. No apology was offered and the doctor conveniently, prevented my wife from retorting.

    It is clear by the doctor's action, and Administration's offer of apology, that my wife was victimized; verbally abused and physically assaulted. Unfortunately the intimidation does not end there.

    My wife has been re-assigned to a long term floor, a unit that is not consistent with her goals, experience or capabilities - no options or discussion were offered prior to this assignment. The doctor remains in place on the Rehab unit, with no reprimand.

    As you can imagine, my wife is incredibly upset. The prospect of a forced career change, leaving a job and the people she loves, has left her depressed. She is also very concerned about retribution, and the impact this incident will leave on her record and ability to continue her career as she chooses.

    She went to work the day after the incident, she has not returned since. In fact the attendance office is not sympathetic to her concerns.

    Although it has been 5 days since the incident, nobody has spoken with my wife, offered any consolation or basic communication. The only contact so far was the reassignment message. To make matters worse, senior personal (nursing and administration) are unavailable over the weekend and will be on vacation next week, leaving my wife helpless, without information and the ability to get past this incident.

    It is evident that the victimization continues and administration simply does not "care" - an ironic attribute for a health "care" institution.

    Are there laws to protect my wife's rights? Which NYS departments should we contact?

  • #2

    If the doctor acted the way he did because of a discriminatory reason, such as her gende, etc., then the actions he took and then the hospital hasmade since she complained is considered as retaliation Retaliation is often more serious than the original complaint. You can learn more about discrimination of that type is ew York has a similar agency. It is the New York Division of Human Rights. You can reach them at:

    As she was harmed during her course of work, it could be seen as a workers compensation case. Did she file a claim or inquire about it? New York prohibits retalation against those reporting an injury. Their website is at
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator


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