We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


‘It's tough enough in there’: Nurse says patient awaiting Covid-19 test result spat on him several times

The staff nurse said he had to shower in a patient’s shower room afterwards due to the lack of “proper facilities”.

A HEALTH CARE worker has said he was spat on several times earlier this week by a patient who was waiting for their Covid-19 test result. 

Damian, a staff nurse, told Today with Sean O’Rourke that after the incident took place he had to shower in a patient’s shower room due to the lack of “proper facilities”. 

The incident occurred on Tuesday morning when Damian was called to assist with a patient in another ward who had been “extremely disruptive and abusive towards staff”.

“There were three or four of the members of staff in the room at the time and other patients when I was called in to help.

“We were in the process of preparing a single room for the woman and in that time, myself and my colleague had to restrain the patient.

“So for roughly 20 to 30 minutes we had to restrain the patient and in that process, she spat numerous time.

Damian said he was wearing goggles, a surgical mask and a surgical gown at the time. 

“I was probably thirty minutes in total with the patient and I mean for close contact of that description. I should have been wearing another mask. You know, the masks don’t completely cover the side of your face.

He added that the spit landed on parts of his face that were not covered by the mask. 

In shock 

Damian said he and his colleague were spat on “at least four to six” times before the woman’s family members arrived.

It was then that Damian’s colleague was able to have the “superficial wounds” to his arms dressed. 

“Personally I was in shock as you can imagine,” Damian said. 

“I had to go and shower in a patient’s shower room because we have no proper facilities for showering or changing clothes.

“You’re asked not to wear your uniform to and from work, obviously, but most of our staff in our ward are changing in patients’ toilets.” 

He says he’ll go back to work in the next couple of days because he doesn’t want to leave his colleagues. “You know, it’s tough enough in there.”

He now has to monitor himself for any signs or symptoms over the next few days.  

Earlier this week, a Sligo woman was jailed for four weeks after she coughed on a garda. 

The woman in her 30s had refused to provide her details to gardaí and coughed on a garda after implying that she had the coronavirus.

Damian says he called gardaí about his incident but was told they couldn’t take a statement off him for 14 days due to “health and safety reasons”.

In a statement to, gardaí said that all incidents of this nature are “fully and thoroughly investigated”.

“We would advise anyone who is a victim of this form of behaviour to come forward. A number of similar cases are currently before the courts.”

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel