Hospital ER violence is rising, workers fight to make assault of a provider a felony

Security detectors are placed just inside the entrance to the Billings Clinic Emergency Department.

AMY LYNN NELSON, Billings Gazette

When Dr. Jamiee Belsky got a call that shots were fired at her place of work, her stomach dropped. Carefully speeding through stop signs and red lights, she arrived at the scene as quickly as possible. It was a busy night at the Billings Clinic Emergency Department when two rounds of gunfire echoed through the lobby.

A woman seeking help for suicidal ideation allegedly snuck a handgun into the ED on Oct. 16. In a triage room, the woman fired a round into her abdomen before a police officer on the scene shot her in the face.

Earlier this year, an inmate receiving treatment at Billings Clinic took a nurse hostage, grabbing her by the throat and threatening to kill her. The nurse managed to reach the panic button that every Billings Clinic employee began clipping to their scrubs earlier in the year, said Belsky, Clinic’s emergency department director.

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