In the two years to 2012, the number of incidents of assaults on mental health nurses increased from 1140 to 2314. Photo / Thinkstock

In the two years to 2012, the number of incidents of assaults on mental health nurses increased from 1140 to 2314. Photo / Thinkstock

Mental health nurses are speaking out against brutal violence inflicted by their patients, including being punched, kicked, burnt and stabbed and choked, after the number of assaults more than doubled in two years.

In an article in the Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand magazine, mental health staff have revealed horrific details about assaults suffered at the hands of patients they were caring for.

In the two years to 2012, the number of incidents increased from 1140 to 2314.

Annalie Gannaway who, while working at Christchurch‘s Hillmorton Hospital, was repeatedly kicked in her face, head, legs and stomach.

She activated her wrist alarm to find it was not working and was eventually rescued from the violent onslaught when another nurse walked in by chance.