Complaints vs Safety of the Nursing Staff - page 3

Hello All, Wondering..... Over the many years of patient care I have..... I am seeing more and more verbal and physical abuse of the nursing staff by patients and families in the ED....I am... Read More

  1. by   flashpoint
    I'm glad we're not the only ones. Yesterday, I got to work and was promplty greeted by my nurse manager. She wanted to know if I knew where one of the other nurses was at a certain time three weeks ago...I can't tell you where I was at that time, how on earth would I know where she was. Well it turns out that a patient patient had come in to be seen and there was no one at the desk...patient says he waitied for "a very, very long time" before a nurse finally appeared and got him into a room. Now, he's refusing to pay his bill because of the delay in service! Well, this guy had a cold and couldn't get into his clinic, so he came to ER when he got off work at midnight. A housekeeper saw him come in, went to the waiting room and closed the blinds, and went right back to the ER...when he got back the patient was in an exam room with a nurse. The nurse wasn't at the desk because she was in the bathroom! So, there was a wait of about 3 minutes at most...and everyone who was there got talked to about it and the nurse who was in the bathroom was asked to call this patient's doctor to explain why there was a delay in getting this guy in a room! (The patient made his original complaint to his doctor and the doctor told him to call us).

    I know customer service is important, but this is going waaayyyy too far. We seem to be so eager to keep our customers and to keep them happy that we are making fools of ourselves to do it! Eddy's story is a perfect example...let the patients do what ever they want when ever they want and that's OK with us! If people behaved like that in a restaurant, they would be asked to leave...it's too bad the law is so eager to protect the patient that they have damned the caregivers...
  2. by   eldernurse
    Speaking of which, I am sick and tired of being an extended doctors office. How many times do certain doctors call and say they are sending a patient in to us for "evaluation" which means dump dump dump. Their office isn't open or doesn't want to stay open a little longer and people today think they shouldn't get gastritis or a cold. Then there are the gems who have an appointment tomorro and can't wait or had one this morning and slept in. I could just strangle them. Then they ***** because the ER is so busy and we can't treat them as quickley as they would have been treated in their doctor's office.
  3. by   tatianamik
    Originally posted by eldernurse
    Then there are the gems who have an appointment tomorro and can't wait or had one this morning and slept in. I could just strangle them. Then they ***** because the ER is so busy and we can't treat them as quickley as they would have been treated in their doctor's office.
    There was the lady who came in at 3am who had a 7:00am doctors visit. She left AMA to go to her doctor's visit.
  4. by   eddy
    Originally posted by kaycee
    Geez eddy I can't believe you were accused of misconduct. Well maybe I can. Are you still working in that facility?
    There was a hospital worker shot to death in the waiting room of one of the local hospitals here. She was trying to counsel a pt. Guess she had it coming. You know the customer is always right.
    Glad you and the doc are ok and that customer is spending some quality time where he belongs.

    Yikes! Your story makes mine look rather bland. Actually I work agency these days. That job was my last staff job I have had. Quite frankly, I got sick of all the politics and other BS and decided that I liked nursing but I couldn't do it if I had to deal with this cr*p on a daily basis.
  5. by   tony summers
    Things are very similar over here, we regularly suffer abuse both verbal and physical in the department, and it is mainly from the relatives and not from the patient. The patients seem to accept that thing can sometimes take a little while to sort out. To the relatives we are not doing things quick enough and that there is always something that they need to get away and do.

    Contrary to what you are experiencing with your managment over there, our management supports us when wish to have someone prosecuted or barred from the department they will support us. We have a zero tolerance policy and if someone is abusive they are removed from the department and management support this.

    Despite all the signs that are arround stating this the incident of abusive patients/relatives has not decreased.
  6. by   MLL
    Whatever! Whatever!! Whatever!!! Administration can rationalize their butts off and this is still mistreatment of staff as far as I'm concerned. As my father used to say, "You can wrap s*#* in pretty paper, but it's still s*#*."
    Thank God I work because I want to, not because I have to. There is something about knowing I can quit at any time that makes it more bearable some days. I recently left one ED and went to another because the staff at the first ED had to put up with so much crap from "complaining individuals". Has anyone noticed that the ones doing the MOST complaining are the ones who are never going to pay the bill?
    Customer satisfaction - what a laugh! What about employee satisfaction? Time for administration to come down from the top floor and spend a week working in ED. But, it's never going to change until we say we aren't putting up with the crappy treatment anymore folks! Think about it! What would the hospital do if every ED nurse said they were leaving until admin smartened up and stopped treating them like servants!
  7. by   AngelGirl
    I work in a County hospital in CA. We have a psych unit, thus we have an awesome crisis team, a host of brave security officers and really great police back-up. I didn't appreciate them in full until I read these posts!

    One doctor explained that the CA law applies to physical AND verbal abuse AND threats. Any of one these offensive actions levelled at a healthcare worker can earn the perpetrator a felony.
  8. by   veetach
    I am new to this thread, and after reading some of the replies, I wonder if any of y'alls hospitals have made any additional security measures since 9/11?? The hospital I work in has changed security measures, began enforcing only one pt at the bedside and we have guards at he ER entrance, (locked doors) where people must be LET in the back.

    No one just walks through our ED for any reason. If I see someone, I call security and they are escorted out.

    Our security cameras are also recording at all times.

    As far as family and attitude goes, If I have a problem, I have security take them out. Especially if they are interefering with patient care. I have no tolerance for attitude from family members.
  9. by   deespoohbear
    originally posted by ikimiwi
    our new nurse manager is so concerned with patient satisfaction, that when a pt c/o anything, he will investigate, and if found guilty, we wiill be required to call them and apologize to them...also we a re getting some type of folder , that will have complaints in . we are to check it befor working and must fix it before we will be allowed to work and pt wil be handed a form on arrival, every one who interacts with the pts will sign it with their badge number and the pt wil rate us!!!!! allso ther is no talking about hospital anything in public.....so if she reads this and traces it to me....i will be replaced because she has a back up plan and doesnt need any of us.......last statment is a quote, repeated to us frequently. if i wasnt serious , this would be lfunny...........evn though i loved my job , my first request to apologize to someone wil be my last day. anyone out there want my job, because i am out of here!!

    what a crock of you know what!! i would definitely be looking for a new job!! and i would not make it any secret why i was leaving.....best wishes....
  10. by   deespoohbear
    originally posted by cotjockey
    as far as legal ramifications? i suppose there are but i know for a fact that our management discourages us from calling law enforcement when people act out. they always give us the "put yourself in their shoes" lecture or remind us how frustrating it can be to come to the er. i had a drunk pee all over me once and the pa that saw it called the cops to have the drunk removed from the hospital, but it doesn't happen often. don't know what would happen if any of us ever went out on our own to press assault charges or anything. worker's comp should cover you for injuries and such, but certainly not at your regular wage...

    your facility could be setting itself up for some major problems. your employer is legally obligated to provide a non-hostile workplace. sure there will be patients and families who come in who are downright dangerous. i would not hesitate for one second to call security or the cops if i thought someone was going to physically hurt me and screw the administration. if the bigwigs have a problem with you calling the cops invite them down to the er to have their lights punched out!! i would make good on my promise to prosecute the offender to the fullest extent of the law. we did not give up our rights when we became nurses, regardless of what some idiot bigwigs think. i bet the administration wouldn't hesitate to prosecute if a pt/family/visitor physically assaulted them!! there are couple of websites that deal with the issues of workplace violence and nursing. i will see if i can't track them down and post them either later tonight or tomorrow.
  11. by   AngelGirl
    Re: No back-up from Management:

    With their list of demands that you please the customer at risk to your own safety, and their threats to fire you if any customer is offended, the Dept Heads should also post this statement:


    "THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL STAFF MORALE IMPROVES!!!!!!"
  12. by   wishfull thinking
    A family member verbally assaulted me after being asked to leave because visiting hours were over. I informed my boss what words I was called and she just shook her head and laughed. A few days later that same family assused me of sexually assaulting their family member. I left the room called security and also management. A few days after that I was informed that the hospital was looking into the allegation. My boss went so far as placing herself on my shifts. She also told me that I was no longer aloud to work alone " until the matter was looked into." I have never felt so abused in all my life. First by the family and now by my own management. I think customer satisfaction is gone to far!!!!!!

    What do you think?
  13. by   sanctuary
    Quote from wishfull thinking
    a family member verbally assaulted me after being asked to leave because visiting hours were over. i informed my boss what words i was called and she just shook her head and laughed. a few days later that same family assused me of sexually assaulting their family member. i left the room called security and also management. a few days after that i was informed that the hospital was looking into the allegation. my boss went so far as placing herself on my shifts. she also told me that i was no longer aloud to work alone " until the matter was looked into." i have never felt so abused in all my life. first by the family and now by my own management. i think customer satisfaction is gone to far!!!!!!

    what do you think?
    waaaaaaaayyyyy toooooo far!!!!
    california nurses got a law passed that insures that the institution reports or allows the nurse to report any assault.
    currently, oregon nurses association is working to get a bill passed called "the nurse protection act." it would prevent the hospital from blocking or taking revenge on a nurse who reports an assault.
    as a psych nurse, i've seen serious assaults ignored, because the perpitrator was a psych pt. er and psych nurses got together in calif, but it took a couple of deaths to get the legislature to act. working on the same issue in or. we just want the same protection that the waitress at denny's gets, nothing special. some hospitals are aware of the importance of becoming a "violence free zone." studies show that if you inform the person that you will prosecute any violent behavior, before the behavior begins, violent acts are reduced. and any administration that does not support the staff in a potentially lethal area like the er and psych floor should have a walk out, so they can experience it themselves.

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