“I can imagine the horror of watching a colleague being attacked. I worry about the coworker who Lynne protected that day, since being a survivor can be so bittersweet. I can feel the shock of how quickly the violence escalated, tasting the bitterness from the desperation of being so alone in the immediate first seconds of the downwardly spiraling situation.”
June Garen is a nurse and author of Hey! I Could Use a Little Help Here! My Story of Healthcare Workplace Violence.
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “In memory of a nurse who died from injuries sustained during a patient assault.”
Working to Stop Healthcare Violence with June Garen
Healthcare violence is all too real and June Garen is fighting to change that.
After decades in the OR, June Garen decided it was time for a change. She was interested in psych mental health nursing and took a job at a state mental health facility. In 2017, she was assaulted by a patient and suffered a head injury, among other physical and emotional injuries. After the violent act, she found there were no resources for her to get help and she felt “shamed and blamed” at work.
Since that time, she has worked to change that. She is spending her time talking to legislators, and is getting involved in moving bills through to protect healthcare workers and first responders while also helping others heal from such devastating trauma. She wrote a book titled “Hey, I Could Use a Little Help Here,” a story not only about her trauma but also a tribute to a less fortunate nurse that lost her life due to healthcare violence. The book is an eye opener and a call to action. The time is now and we can all shed light on this issue to improve our work environments.
A life-long northern New Englander, June Zanes Garen has spent almost four decades on the frontlines of nursing. After experiencing a violent physical assault in her workplace, she has become an advocate for survivors of healthcare workplace violence. June is currently employed as a nurse in a local school district.
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