NURSES in Malaga hospitals have taken to carrying pepper spray after a surge in assaults from patients and their families under the influence of cocaine and other drugs.
The disturbing rise in verbal and physical attacks has seen the number of reports to the police increase year on year.
This is despite health care professionals fearing reprisals because their assailants ‘know where we work’, according to Malaga Hoy.
Professionals from the Churriana health centre voiced their fears over a litany of assaults.
The attacks vary from ‘people who simply have no respect for anything’ to patients arriving ‘high on cocaine.’
There are also patients who ‘tell the doctor or to the nurse what they have to do’ and those who snap over being made to wait, according to medical sources.
They include a man telling a nurse ‘I s*** on your people who have died’ after not immediately receiving a psychotropic injection, and a patient’s mother insulting the appearance of another nurse.
Meanwhile, a nurse from Malaga’s Primary Care Emergency Service (SUAP) revealed that she now carries pepper spray with her at all times.
“I wouldn’t use it for verbal aggression, but if I saw that they were going to punch me or a colleague, I would use it,” she said.
Another nurse said that they are now more willing to report assaults after the recent uptick in unacceptable behaviour.
“But we fear they will come back and retaliate; that they will attack us because we have gone to the police,” he admitted.
Health worker associations and unions are now calling for stiffer penalties for those who target their members while performing their duties.