A paramedic spat at by a patient was left feeling “contaminated, broken and defeated” and had to take a month off work to recover.
Tracy Higginbottom was assaulted on a night shift in north Cornwall in July.
She said she has “never experienced” that level of aggression before as the patient “kicked and spat everywhere”.
More than 100 ambulance workers were physically assaulted on duty since lockdown, South Western Ambulance Service said.
There were 106 physical assaults reported between 23 March and 23 August, compared with 77 during the same time period in 2019.
Ms Higginbottom, who has been in the ambulance service for more than 20 years, said: “Violence and aggression appear to be escalating, and is something we have to deal with as a part of our job. But I’ve never experienced anything quite like this.”
She explained the patient was “out of control and vulnerable” after taking drugs and alcohol.
“It really kicked off in the ambulance. She was swearing, kicking and spitting everywhere.
“Afterwards I felt very distressed and traumatised. So I took some time out, because you need to be in the right frame of mind in my role.”
Ms Higginbottom is now back at work and has decided not to press charges.