New nurse here...slapped today by patient.Register Today!
This is a discussion on New nurse here...slapped today by patient. in General Nursing Discussion, part of General Nursing ... So...I'm a new RN, still in orientation mode. I was starting an IV on a patient, my primary nurse...by Bonny619 Feb 20, '08So...I'm a new RN, still in orientation mode. I was starting an IV on a patient, my primary nurse was present as well as a student we had with us. The patient's husband was also present.
I started the IV, I was getting ready to place the tegaderm on and BAM.
She slapped me straight across the face...pretty hard too. No mark, but it stung. I just left the room immediately, that was my first instinct. My primary nurse was dealing with the patient.
Anyway, the patient was an older lady....77, but she was A/O x3. NOT a confused patient, she later said she thought we were just "playing with her" I'm assuming she thought this because the student was watching? I don't know. She knew we needed to start a new IV, her IV infiltrated.
So, my question is this....at what point does a nurse actually look at a situation as being assaulted. If this lady slapped me across the face in the middle of the grocery store, I would have called the police.
What is that fine line? What if she bruised my face? Is that different?
Any advice is appreciated.
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- Feb 20, '08 by nyapaIt is assault. Pure and simple. And you have witnesses x 3, though I am sure her husband wouldn't back you up. I hope you put an incident form in. And documented everything in your notes. Does your hospital have some sort of aggression policy? Do you have a police officer on campus? I don't care if she is 77 years old. If she is A+O to TPP then she has assaulted you...
What did your primary nurse say?Last edit by nyapa on Feb 20, '08
- Feb 20, '08 by MulanThat was battery. I would call the police and press charges. As you say, you would do that if someone slapped you in the grocery store. People need to learn that we are not there for them to abuse. Would she have slapped a doctor that started an IV on her, I think not.
- Feb 20, '08 by ann945nYikes! I agree I would go through your facility and possibly file charges against her. If she is A+O and knows what she is doing and what is happening you should not let this slide
- Feb 20, '08 by nurseaboveboardI have decided that if I am ever assulted again, I will press charges, either against the person who assulted me, or take action against the facility that failed to protect me. This happened to me when I had done everything right. I believe the rights have swung too much in favor of the patient rather than the staff. There has to be a balance! Sorry this had to happen to you.
- Feb 21, '08 by MulanThe facility won't want you to press charges. They certainly won't do it. You need to do it yourself. The facility will just want you to take that type of abuse and like it, smile and say thank you.
- Feb 21, '08 by flightnurse2bmake sure you document and speak with your boss and risk mgmt right away. if the pt. was AAO/3 i would definately file charges. it sounds like she knew what she was doing to me. i believe assaulting a health care worker is a felony.
- Feb 21, '08 by pagandeva2000I have not been physically assaulted by a patient, yet. But, I have seen it happen. Many patients do it on purpose, others are not in their right state of mind, but it is not easy to deal with. You feel violated, and the powers that be always want to support the rights of the patient.
You didn't mention if this was a frail old woman who was oriented X3 (not that it would make a difference in how you felt at the moment). Under those circumstances, I am not sure if I would press charges, but there would be a great deal of documentation of her behavior to warn the next nurse of this woman's capabilities; especially if she was in her right mind.
- Feb 21, '08 by ScrubbyI would be contacting the police, it was assault. People like that make me sick.
- Feb 21, '08 by elizabellsI am sorry to say you will have to look out for yourself here. I was hit by a patient during a bed bath when I was in nursing school, and when I told my instructor I was uncomfortable going back in this man's room, she proceeded to assign me to him every day for the rest of my rotation to teach me a lesson. She also told me, in a later rotation, in front of other students, that she didn't understand why I "had such a problem with his personality." I didn't have a problem with his personality, I had a problem with getting hit! Moral of the story is that, as much as it sucks, you are probably the only one who will stand up for you. If she was A&Ox3, I'd do whatever you can to at least avoid taking care of her again, even if you don't press charges.
This is why I work with babies.