MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A day after Maplewood police say a patient attacked four nurses, we’re hearing from others saying violence in the workplace is a more general problem for Minnesota nurses.

The attack happened at St. John’s in Maplewood. Officers say the patient, Charles Logan, typically had a mild manner, but for some reason he attacked four nurses with a pole from his bed.

When they found him three blocks away, he stopped breathing and died. It’s not yet clear why.

Two nurses are still being treated for their injuries.

Barb Martin, a newly retired nurse of 46 years, says violence against healthcare workers is a persistent problem.

“For us, it isn’t a new issue,” she said. “For the general public, it probably is.”

The Minnesota Department of Health says that nurses, along with doctors and mental health workers, are more likely than any other workers to be assaulted on the job.

Marttin, who worked mostly in labor and delivery, learned the hard way.

There were “two women fighting to the point where one was getting choked,” she said. “It was the middle of the night, and I needed to intervene while security was on their way.”

She said her injuries were similar to the ones nurses often report.

“Being spit at, being hit, being shoved, being verbally abused,” she said.

But the injuries nurses suffered over the weekend, after officers say a patient attacked them with a pole, were more serious.

That’s why Martin and the Department of Health recently formed a coalition against violence.

“The workplace in not necessarily always a safe place to be,” Martin said.

Now she’s helping come up with new protocol so workers can report violence and try to prevent it.

The taskforce is also working to get hospital administrators involved.

If you want to find out more about the program, you can visit the Health Department’s website.

A Patient Who Attacked Nurses

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner has identified the 68-year-old patient who authorities say attacked four nurses at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood and later died Sunday morning.

The medical examiner says St. Paul resident Charles Emmett Logan was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after the incident.

Maplewood police were called to the hospital at around 2 a.m. Sunday on a report that four nurses had been assaulted by a patient, who was wielding a large metal bar and had been hospitalized for confusion. The nurses were identified as Leslie A. Lichey, 40, of Wyoming, Minnesota, Brooke C. Scott, 22, of Brooklyn Park, Nicole Eenisse, 32, of Lino Lakes, and Kelly Roberto, 30, of Hudson, Wisconsin.

Authorities say Logan fled the hospital, and a Maplewood police officer as well as two Ramsey County deputies found him three blocks north of the hospital, still holding the metal bar. When Logan refused to drop it, deputies used a Taser to shock him.

When that proved ineffective, the deputies took Logan to the ground and handcuffed him.

“Immediately after that, he went limp. Officers turned him over and they realized he stopped breathing. They checked for pulse, he did not have one,” Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said Sunday.

Officers and police paramedics gave him CPR, and an emergency crew brought him back to St. John’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after. His cause and manner of death is undetermined pending additional test results.

The two deputies who arrested Logan have been identified as Deputy Mark Andrew Suchy and Deputy Richard Edward Werdien II.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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