REGION (WGGB) — The issue of domestic violence came front and center on Tuesday when a West Springfield man shot his wife and then drove her to the hospital.
Eddie Bonafe shot himself after a four-hour standoff with police.
Bonafe had driven his wife to the emergency department after shooting her. He never made it inside the E.R. though.
While that incident was extreme, a nursing group says violence in the E.R. goes on all the time.
“There’s all sorts of violence we’re spit at, punched, kicked, and it seems to be getting worse,” says Loretta Kapinos, President of the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association.
Kapinos has not only heard from other nurses about abuse of staff in the E.R. She has experienced it herself.
“I have been physically threatened, I have been told they’ll wait for me in the parking lot, a person said they’d wait for me in the parking lot, so I had to be escorted out with security, that happens on a regular basis,” Kapinos adds.
Kapinos says emergency departments have become a catch-all for all sorts of health care and mental health issues.
“The environment of the emergency room is a stressful place, and it’s stressful for visitors, it’s stressful for staff and I think there’s a lot of frustration and anxiety expressed in a violent way,” says Kapinos.
Kapinos says violence in the E.R. is both a serious and growing problem, and hospitals are aware of the issue.
“The hospitals are doing all they can , every hospital has their own plans, and ways of keeping staff safe , I think communication needs to keep happening, and we need to keep talking about the problem,” says Kapinos.
The Emergency Nurses Association will be holding a meeting next week, to discuss violence in the E.R.’s. That meeting is scheduled for the Mary Lane Hospital on Tuesday, February 25 from 5 to 7 p.m.