Patient punches nurse after needle jab

A ROCKHAMPTON nurse found herself on the wrong side of a jab when treating Theresa Rose Williams last month.

Williams, 34, claims the needle she received “hurt” so she retaliated by punching the nurse in the face.

It was an attack that Magistrate John McGrath yesterday said was unacceptable as the nursing industry had a tough job without having to worry about physical violence.

Williams yesterday pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to common assault from December 11.

But she was in custody after causing a disturbance at a Rockhampton hostel on Thursday.

She refused to leave the premises and became abusive, forcing police to arrest her.

The attack on the nurse occurred when Williams fronted at Rockhampton Hospital feeling ill.

She was on a stretcher and police said she was under observation only.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Elder said although Williams’ claimed she was given a needle the nurse said she had not touched her.

Williams hit the nurse in the left eye, which caused immediate pain and discomfort.

Williams had to be physically restrained.

Sergeant Elder said a term of imprisonment should be considered for this offence as nurses are there to help people.

“In the media recently there has been coverage about emergency services being assaulted on a more regular basis,” he said.

“This was an unprovoked attack as no touching was done by the nurse.”

Williams told Magistrate McGrath “the way she put the needle in me hurt”.

But he did not except the excuse.

“Nurses put needles in most peoples arms and do not expect to be assaulted in return,” he said.

“I don’t think people are meant to like getting needles.

“The nurses are there to help you – it’s not nice to turn around and assault them. Next time you might not be treated, but lucky the profession is quiet forgiving.”

Williams has a 12 page history, which half of it has occurred in the last five years.

She was sentenced to two months prison and was released on immediate parole.

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