Man charged in connection with attack on hospital nurses

Man charged in connection with attack on hospital nurses

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Regional Medical Center patient is facing charges after being accused of attacking two nurses while he was in their care.

Believe it or not, but the Tennessee Nurse Association says this type of thing happens more than you think.

According to a police affidavit, Elliott Clark spat on a nurse's face and torso from his hospital bed last November. He then came up behind another nurse who was at her computer and repeatedly punched her in the back of the head.

Fugitive officers tracked him down on Thursday, more than one year after the attack.

"He doesn't have any business putting his hands on a nurse, especially if she's seeing after him," said Clark's neighbor, Gene Dunbar. "I say it's a terrible thing."

Court records reveal Clark's violent past, mostly involving assault and bodily harm. It's unclear why he was in the hospital.

Nurses filing charges against a patient may seem like a rare occasion, but Tennessee Nurse Association Executive Director Sharon Adkins says up to 60 percent of all workplace violence happen in the health care sector.

"It's really a big issue and I don't think the public is really aware of how much nurses put themselves in the front lines every day," Adkins said, adding that hospitals are looking for ways to make the workplace safer for nurses.

In response to the incident at Regional Medical Center, the hospital said, "It is our goal to provide a safe environment for our staff and the care of our patients. We cannot share information about this incident due to patient privacy."

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