Workplace Violence

'Sometimes it's just about doing the right thing'

03.15.2005

ER nurse assaulted while on duty reaches out to others on the 'front line'

From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
April 2005 Edition

Just over two years ago, Charlene Richardson, an emergency room nurse at Beverly Hospital, became the victim of assault and abuse while on the job. Her story became the foundation for a Page 1 article appearing in the Nov. 8, 2004 edition of The Salem News, a reprint of which appears here.

The article, "Emergency room violence growing concern for nurses" written by staff writer Jill Harmacinski, chronicles that devastating night in Richardson’s career; a night that forever altered the way she is viewed by herself, those closest to her and as it turns out, her employer. Richardson’s need and desire to come forward and share her story has resulted in an increasing awareness that those in the nursing profession are often asked and expected to put their personal safety on the line as "part of the job."

Richardson's courage and recognition that to be silent would perpetuate similar incidents prompted The Salem News to publish an editorial (also re-printed here) calling for hospital officials and those outside the healthcare industry to look the issue directly in its ugly face and at the very least, acknowledge the dangers confronted by emergency room personnel while on duty.

Also "In her own words: How ER assault has changed RN Charlene Richardson's life, work" is powerful commentary from Charlene Richardson herself, who nearly two years following her experience is faced daily with the ways in which it has changed her life.

Richardson demonstrated great fortitude the night of the March 2003 incident and subsequently by sharing the events of that night with The Salem News. Her apparent resolve to tell her story until it is truly heard is taken to a new level in her personal perspective of the real impact of workplace violence.