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Hawaii senators inspect safety at state hospital

May 14, 2014 - 1:57pm

HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers on a special investigative committee are hearing from staff members at Hawaii State Hospital about the safety of those who work with psychiatric patients.

State senators dissected how the hospital assigns staff in a hearing at the Legislature Wednesday.

Former hospital worker Emelinda Yarte says she was thrown against a wall when she tried to help colleagues who were attacked by a patient. She says the incident occurred in a part of the hospital that was understaffed at the time. She says a security camera in the area was broken.

A hospital employee who schedules workers says certain parts of the hospital are difficult to staff. Clerk Debbie Ono says workers in those units often call in sick, and other workers fill in, logging a lot of overtime.