Enraged (venting) - page 7

OK, I know y'all can relate... Tonight I received a 23yoM, out drinking and driving, hitting parked cars. He already has 2 felony DUI's on his records. He fought with fire department on scene... Read More

  1. by   nuangel1
    Quote from obliviousRN
    Choosing to work in a dangerous field does not negate your right to protect yourself. My husband is also a police officer. If someone is trying to assault him, he certainly will protect himself and his other officers with physical force if need be.

    A dangerous job does not mean you throw your hands up in the air and take the mindset that it's OK for someone to hurt you because you "chose" that line of work.
    yeah that !:yeahthat: very well said and i couldn't agree more.
  2. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from obliviousRN
    Again - I apologize for my snottiness - please understand it comes from a place of being in that nurse's position of having a drunk volatile pt physically assaulting me.

    so...........................



    Here is a direct quote from the OP:





    Yes he was holding the nurse's arm, but he had also just punched them in the chest and face. So I would like to remind everyone it wasn't as simple as just holding onto the nurse's arm. Yes at that point the pt was holding the nurse's arm, but was his other arm raised in a fist? Was he suggesting the hitting would continue? Was he moving toward the nurse? Was he trying to get off the scanner table and come toward the nurse? Was he........was he.....etc. There are so many unanswered questions in the scenario, but I still would give the nurse the benefit of the doubt.


    OK and onward -


    Point #4 - police were present in the immediate vicinity. That would be better wording from me. In our scanner, it is arranged so that the "window" that separates the pt from the staff or police or whoever is about 8 feet away and a few running steps. My point is that even with people close by, I would still respond with physical force if someone was (or had just been) punching me.




    Point # 6 - I think we will just have to disagree. I'm not sure I can assume all those things about how they were feeling. Yes, they expressed dismay that they "lost it", as I think any of us would. When I say I would physically respond to someone assaulting me, that doesn't mean I would brag about it later or be proud of myself (not saying that is what you are implying - just bringing my thoughts out here). I would definitely be upset that I had to resort to that point and feel sad. But I would still do it to protect myself.



    Point #7 - for my assault and my fighting back - my hospital fully supported me in my actions. The risk manager didn't have any concerns at all. My manager was more concerned about my safety than my actions. She was supportive.

    Point #10 - please realize that all hospitals are not the same. Staffing at a rural hospital is insane - especially at night. At a rural hospital I've worked at, noc shift staffing was 3 RN's for the entire hospital. 1 in ER, 2 on the floor, another for ICU if we had a pt. The ER had no other staff in it - just the nurse and the doctor (if the doctor was actually inhouse and didn't go home for the night). Police officers at night on duty usually ran about 2 or 3 for the entire county (Very rural, seriously - 10,000 square miles of pretty much nothing but sagebrush and a few people thrown in for good measure).

    So - using that scenario................. think of drunk pt in ER - to CT scanner with one nurse, maybe 2 officers (since the other one was probably on the other side of the county), doctor not present, CT tech running computer. Nurse next to pt with lead gown on, which weighs you down and makes it difficult to move anyway. Pt starts to fight- hits you in face, chest, grabs arm (probably took about 1-2 seconds). Police may be coming towards you to help.............. I would still fight back. Really, I would. It takes one punch to knock you out or to permanently damage you. It takes one punch to damage your airway. One punch can happen in the time it takes the police to take a few more steps toward you. Yes.............I would hit the pt to make them stop. The police could take over from there.


    NOw I know not everywhere is rural and more people may be present to help, but think about the situation from that viewpoint.


    It sounds very problematic and not the type of setting I was picturing, being a city girl myself and used to big teaching hospitals. Heck, those nurses better keep pepper spray handy.
  3. by   Altra
    Quote from TrudyRN
    It sounds very problematic and not the type of setting I was picturing, being a city girl myself and used to big teaching hospitals. Heck, those nurses better keep pepper spray handy.
    Could pepper spray use be considered assault/battery? Just curious ... Or is it just more palatable in your mind than taking physical action? Might the assailant pause long enough to fish the pepper spray out of your pocket? I suppose it's possible.

    I wouldn't recommend it, though, as the entire department would then have to be decontaminated. Probably not the thing to do.

    There is no way to restrain a patient to a CT scanner table - you need a bed frame or something similar.

    Again ... the OP had to deal with a physical assault NOW ... she was being punched NOW.

    I also strongly disagree that this is an issue solely of ER, corrections and psych nurses. Just ask any med-surg floor nurse. Where do you think violent patients go after their brief stay in the ER?
  4. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from jojotoo
    First, stop wasting your time thinking about him. He's made his choices and now he has to live with them.

    Second, are you upset that you punched him? Your actions seem reasonable to me since you said that you were trying to get away to prevent him from further assaulting you. How many times do YOU think you should allow yourself to be punched before you become proactive in your safety?

    And shame on your ER doc. Any patient that has to be tazered to be CT'd should have immediately been paralyzed and intubated.

    You've had a huge adrenaline rush tonight. You're going to think about it a lot. Time will make it better.

    When you tell this story at work, leave out the part about punching him. While your peers that have stood there on the line with you understand the dynamics of what happened, there's always going to be that ONE who will put you at fault and try to take your license if they can.

    YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO PROTECT YOURSELF!!!

    Too many nurses take the abuse and suffer, they even think it is some kind of obligation. No way!

    Don't be hard on yourself. There is absolutely no reason to take being abused.
  5. by   RunnerRN
    "If you're fighting for your life, it becomes another story. Although that would not hold up in psychiatric nursing where, no matter what, staff are not allowed to lose their cool."

    THE ER IS NOT A PSYCH WARD!!!!! Our goal is not to establish a therapeutic setting so Mr Alkie can figure out why he drinks. The OP was working to make sure he did not have a possibly life threatening injury. And I really don't feel that telling this pt to "calm yourself or we will paralyze you and put a tube in your throat" was battery/threatening. It was simply a nurse explaining the possible consequences of his actions.....act like a human being or we will force you to.
    Again, when I go to work, I go to help people - but not at the expense of my safety. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I'm sure the OP will act differently in the future. But she acted appropriately for the given situation and issues.
  6. by   Daywalker
    Don't sweat it. He won't, and you were defending yourself. Our facility won't handle patients like that until they have come down enough to be docile.
  7. by   tddowney
    "1. She had been hit. He now had hold of her arm."

    By virtue of the hold he had on the OP's arm, he could further harm her/him by pulling the OP into the scanner table, pulling her/him down within biting range.

    Given that the Pt had already struck the OP several times, it would be simply foolish to assume the danger to the OP had lessened simply because the Pt only had hold of an arm.
  8. by   TrudyRN
    [quote=MLOS;1976618]Could pepper spray use be considered assault/battery? Just curious ... Or is it just more palatable in your mind than taking physical action? (quote)




    It is more doable for me than having to fight off a young drunk male. Ready, aim, fire and done with it. I am not a pro boxer or a 7th degree black belt.
    Last edit by TrudyRN on Dec 21, '06
  9. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from Daywalker
    Don't sweat it. He won't, and you were defending yourself. Our facility won't handle patients like that until they have come down enough to be docile.

    What do you do with them while waiting for them to chill?
  10. by   TrudyRN
    [quote=RunnerRN;1976882]"If you're fighting for your life, it becomes another story. Although that would not hold up in psychiatric nursing where, no matter what, staff are not allowed to lose their cool."

    THE ER IS NOT A PSYCH WARD!!!!! Our goal is not to establish a therapeutic setting so Mr Alkie can figure out why he drinks. The OP was working to make sure he did not have a possibly life threatening injury. And I really don't feel that telling this pt to "calm yourself or we will paralyze you and put a tube in your throat" was battery/threatening. (quote)

    I'm not sure if it is or not. The problem I have with it is that I am wondering what the pt thought she meant when she said "We'll paralyze you." Even as a nurse, my first thought was not using a resp m. paralying agent. I envisioned that the pt thought she meant she'd break his neck. And if she didn't mean it as a threat, why state it so it could possibly be interpreted as such? That's the problem I have with it.

    I'd also like to know who was remiss in not doing tubing him in the first place. OP? Doc? Other? This whole mess indicates perhaps some improper assessment?

    Where is the OP, whom we have not heard from for a long time now for some feedback?
  11. by   tddowney
    [quote=TrudyRN;1980878]
    Quote from MLOS
    Could pepper spray use be considered assault/battery? Just curious ... Or is it just more palatable in your mind than taking physical action? (quote)




    It is more doable for me than having to fight off a young drunk male. Ready, aim, fire and done with it. I am not a pro boxer or a 7th degree black belt.
    The trouble with pepper spray is that it affects just about everyone in the room, and depending on the ventilation in other rooms as well.

    I've been exposed only once, and that was outside, about 20' from the source, on a day with a very light variable breeze. The spray was acutally aimed in the other direction. Within seconds my eyes were burning and effusively tearing, and I was experiencing difficulty breathing.

    Used in a confined area, the OP would have been as incapacitated as the Pt. The ER would have been left shortstaffed in addition to the problem of treating the OP and Pt for the effects of the spray.

    In that situation, I think pepper spray would have been worse than what the OP actually did.
  12. by   Altra
    duplicate post
    Last edit by Altra on Dec 21, '06 : Reason: posted twice
  13. by   Altra
    Quote from tddowney

    The trouble with pepper spray is that it affects just about everyone in the room, and depending on the ventilation in other rooms as well.

    ...

    Used in a confined area, the OP would have been as incapacitated as the Pt. The ER would have been left shortstaffed in addition to the problem of treating the OP and Pt for the effects of the spray.

    In that situation, I think pepper spray would have been worse than what the OP actually did.
    Totally agree -- that's why I pointed out that the entire dept. would need to be decontaminated. Every other patient, staff member & visitor would also be exposed.

    Oh, and you'd have to manage to fish that out of your pocket while being punched ...

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