Nurses join Dayton's call to boost security at psychiatric hospitals


Staff at Minnesota's two biggest psychiatric hospitals joined Gov. Mark Dayton in urging legislators to approve millions of dollars in upgrades to make the facilities safer.

Nurses at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter and the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center described conditions they say are dangerous for employees and patients.

According to MPR News Jackie Spanjers, who's been a nurse at the Anoka center for 20 years, said there were 55 injuries to staff last year:

"Getting pounded in the face or head leaves you with serious injuries, some that can end your career," she said. "Concussions, headaches, memory loss, open wounds, broken bones and eye injuries are common."

Staffing shortages have been a problem at the Security Hospital in St. Peter and a nurse there said Wednesday that multiple overtime shifts per week have become the norm, FOX 9 reports.

Dayton says the facilities treat Minnesotans who are a danger to themselves and others but they've been neglected for decades.

The Anoka center was put on notice in January that it could lose federal funding if security was not improved.

The package of state construction projects that Dayton proposed in January includes $177 million to hire more staff and improve security at treatment centers. The governor's office says some of the funding would go to the 120 community treatment centers spread across the state but the St. Peter and Anoka facilities would get the largest share.

MPR says Republicans who control the House want the state to issue significantly less than the $1.4 billion in bonds Dayton has proposed to pay for building projects. Some also question whether the bonding bill is the right place to address worker safety issues.

FOX says Human Services Commissioner Emily Johnson Piper will lead lawmakers on a tour of the St. Peter hospital Thursday to show the need for improvements.

Next Up

the mayo clinic - edit

Mayo Clinic study details 'severe negative impacts' of long COVID

Most participants were under 65 and had no preexisting conditions.

derek chauvin

Judge will consider longer prison sentence for Derek Chauvin

The judge ruled there were aggravating factors in Floyd's death.

Justin Jefferson

Vikings to visit the Bengals in Week 1 of 2021 NFL season

The rest of the schedule will be released Wednesday evening.

emily sands jeopardy

Chanhassen woman wins $73,000 on 'Jeopardy!'

She called it the "coolest experience" of her life.

Anthony Edwards

Where the Wolves' lottery odds stand with 3 games to go

It's likely that Golden State will have a 72.4% chance to get Minnesota's pick.

Kenta Maeda

Twins pull Maeda early, White Sox pummel bullpen

Jose Abreu's two-run homer gave the White Sox a 9-3 victory.

boys volleyball

Girls wrestling sanctioned as MSHSL activity; boys volleyball 2 votes shy

There will be section and state tournaments for girls-only wrestling next school year.

P.J. Fleck

Gopher players defend PJ Fleck after WCCO-TV report

"The public has made our statement," a U of M spokesperson said.

vaccine, covid

Twin Cities police investigating COVID vaccine thefts in viral videos

Videos of both incidents were recorded and shared online.

Guthrie theater

Guthrie to reopen to the public in July, shows resume this fall

The theater has been closed to the public for more than a year.