PRESCOTT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Almost two years after a nurse was viciously attacked by a patient at the VA in Prescott, the VA is under scrutiny for having federal workplace safety violations.
June Nanke said she will never forget the shift she worked on Jan. 16, 2018. It's the day a patient went after her. "The next thing I know, he just took a right hook -- and bam, bam! -- and hit me right on the left side of my chin, and it shifted my whole jaw," Nanke recalled. The brutal attack resulted in a police report and a painful jaw dislocation, but it's the moment after punches were thrown that still stay with Nanke.
"I called the doctor that was taking care of him, and I said 'I need you to come down here; I just got punched,' and she said, 'What do you want me to do about it?'" Nanke explained. She reached out to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate Prescott's VA Medical Center.
[WATCH: "It really is unsafe."]
"It's a notice of unsafe or unhealthy work conditions," Nanke said. OSHA found several serious workplace safety violations, confirming Nanke's concerns. "I felt like I'm not making this up; it really is unsafe," she said. In response to OSHA's findings, the Department of Veteran Affairs said they made sweeping changes, including a stronger police presence in high-risk areas, better alarm systems, and employee training. "I want safety for everyone that goes to work," Nanke said.
Nanke retired after working 13 years for the VA. She still suffers from pain in her jaw, PTSD, and bad memories. "I'm afraid to even drive by the VA; I'm traumatized by the system," Nanke said.
She said it took more than 18 months to get surgery for her jaw after several denials from the Department of Labor. She also said she's spent $22,000 in legal fees to get her workman's comp.