A nurse quoted in the piece describes how her jaw was broken in an altercation with a patient who later explained that he "was tired of waiting."
One of the draws of emergency medicine, for me at least, is the ability and mission to treat anything that comes through the doors. Given the patient population, nobody who chooses to work in the emergency department should be surprised when the occasional punch is thrown - we often see people at their very worst, and it's part of the job.
But when violence inches towards the rule rather than the exception, that's a problem. As another ER nurse observed:
"You would never go into the supermarket and say, 'the tomatoes aren't good enough' and punch the clerk and get away with it. That's exactly what happens in emergency departments all over the U.S."