MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Striking Twin Cities nurses Thursday said workplace violence turns too many of them into patients.

The nurses walked off the job 11 days ago, unable to strike a new deal with Allina Health. The two sides hit an impasse over health insurance proposals.

On Thursday, the nurses also accused Allina of not doing enough to protect them from violent patients. Striking workers carried signs that read “Assaulted.”

One nurse described finding a coworker under attack and intervening well before security arrived.

“The patient was standing up, there was blood everywhere from having ripped out his IVs and he was choking the charge nurse. He had his hands around her neck,” Unity Hospital nurse Laurie Brodersen said. “It took a lot of nurses to get him off. I was one of them. It was terrifying.”

Allina has said it accepted most of the nurse’s safety proposals. More than 4,000 nurses at five hospitals had been working without a contract since June.