The other night we had a man emergently transferred to our unit for hypotension and altered mental status. He got a SC triple lumen cath and started on dopamine. I was looking at the remote tele monitor when one of my co-workers started screaming. The patient had her by the hair and was kicking her in the ribs, so I run over to them and stop him. He started struggling with me, then spit dead in my face (not once but twice). Then he grabs the SC cath and starts to yank it out (with dopamine and ivf running). I grabbed the catheter right before he broke the luer lock. As I was telling him to relax, he clawed me across the left side of my face and opened it up. Long, filthy fingernails that were like talons. I thought he'd just knocked my glasses off but then a co-worker started rubbing betadine on it and I realized what had actually happened.
It was myself and 4 female nurses (who he also repeatedly tried to bite them whenever they were near) at work that night. When I got home I thought about what if he had clawed one of the girls' face? I didn't need stitches or anything and now all the guys I work with rag on me, telling me I need to wear a helmet or bringing me a hockey mask....which is great and I love kidding around. But the bottom line is that I'm glad I was the one close enough to get hurt because I can't imagine how bad it would be and how angry I would've gotten if he had done that to one of the female nurses.
I guess my point is: stay alert and safe because you never know what's going to happen next. Thanks for reading.