Violence in Nursing - page 6

Violence in Nursing When Ashley became a nurse, she dreamed about helping patients and relieving suffering. She never thought she’d be hurt, much less attacked. Her second day on the job, a... Read More

  1. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from JKL33
    Excellent post in its entirety, though I've only quoted a portion.

    Working @ random ED: Patient with weapon (not a gun) and violent/threatening behavior. Staff was in a safe position, I called the police. I hung up the phone and everyone told me I was in BIG TROUBLE because they aren't allowed to call the police to come to this ED. I politely said to the effect 'we'll see about that'. As soon as I encountered the supervisor (later) I told her, "Oh by the way. I had to call the cops earlier for a violent patient waving a weapon around. These guys have told me I'm going to be in trouble because they aren't allowed to call the police, but I told them they must have misunderstood because that is ridiculous and would be a major legal issue!" <make excellent eye contact>. She said "Oh....well....good work. I have no ideeeeaaa why they would say THAT??!!" <of course you don't!>

    I was prepared to be as assertive as necessary over this issue but as it turns out I never heard another word about it. And that, right there, was the end of them being "not allowed to call the police."

    We all have to put our foot (feet) down. For the best results, I suggest making no apologies and leave no room for being bullied about it.
    Good for you! I once saw a nurse about to call the police because a patient left AMA with an intact IV. "Why?" I asked. 'He might use drugs" she answered. What a nuisance call for the police!

    This same nurse would never consider calling for a violent patient.
  2. by   Zyprexa
    Patients and family members should be held to the same standards as anyone else. Period.
  3. by   herring_RN
    Sometimes a patient cannot be blamed for his or her actions.
    I've only been injured by a patient once. It was about 2:00 am when I heard my colleague call, "I can use some help in here."
    His patient was in flash pulmonary edema with 02 sat dropping. We knew his agitation and confusion were cause by hypoxia. I paged the resident on call. He said to put on )2 by non-rebreather.
    My colleague was applied wrist restraints. As I held the 02 mask on his face the patient kicked my cheek. I saw stars and was dizzy.

    After the patient was treated with IV Lasix, IV drips, had a pulmonary artery catheter inserted, and all the usual treatment he was againg alert.
    He sort of remembered kicking me saying, "I thought you had broken into my house and were tying me up."

    In my 18 years working nights in CCU I observed many patients become disoriented and combative when hypoxic.
    That is but one condition in which I cannot blame the patient.

    We must have a plan protect ourselves. We must not generalize. In my opinion.
    Last edit by herring_RN on Aug 11 : Reason: typos
  4. by   SOS XD
    I was assaulted by a supervisor. I am a different ethnicity than she. She habitually called me racist nicknames. A patient of her ethnicity called her on it. He was defending me ( his nurse) and being older than her, spoke to her in a chiding manner. She waited around a corner and straight arm clotheslined me then closed her arm around my neck. She cut off my ability to breathe.

    I've been a victim before. I've studied self defense. I've worked on it. All that practice kicked in and my reaction broke her nose. I am not proud of hurting anyone. I am grateful all of this was witnesses by a retired judge who happened to be ambulating by. All of it.

    I lost my job. I've been kind of black listed. I was counseled by HR to not press charges. I pressed charges. I reported her to the board. I have had some truly wonderful people supporting me; telling me not to back down. An attorney got in touch with me. We sued the crap out of the company that fired me. I paid off my student loans and have returned to school to further my education so that one day I might teach nursing to young nurses.

    That said, I have been sorely abused by patients and have never considered what they do as criminal. I know it's wrong, I know it's bad. I meditate, I pray. I forgive. I still can't watch when my stitches are done or taken out ( I can do so for others all day). Somebody has to endure the worst part of people. That's me. I put myself aside when my scrubs go on. I suit up; I am a nurse--my personal life isn't part of that. Game face on.

    Everyone handles this sort of thing differently. I strive to approach everything from a point of compassion. I hope we can all be better for each other, incrementally, every day.

    I don't have any ill will toward the supervisor that choked me. I hope she learned something, I hope she has grown from the experience. I hope she never hurts anyone again.

    Thanks for reading. *hugs*
    Last edit by SOS XD on Aug 14 : Reason: Typos!
  5. by   Chay74
    "Sometimes a patient cannot be blamed for his or her actions.
    I've only been injured by a patient once. It was about 2:00 am when I heard my colleague call, "I can use some help in here."
    His patient was in flash pulmonary edema with 02 sat dropping. We knew his agitation and confusion were cause by hypoxia. I paged the resident on call. He said to put on )2 by non-rebreather.
    My colleague was applied wrist restraints. As I held the 02 mask on his face the patient kicked my cheek. I saw stars and was dizzy.

    After the patient was treated with IV Lasix, IV drips, had a pulmonary artery catheter inserted, and all the usual treatment he was againg alert.
    He sort of remembered kicking me saying, "I thought you had broken into my house and were tying me up."

    In my 18 years working nights in CCU I observed many patients become disoriented and combative when hypoxic.
    That is but one condition in which I cannot blame the patient.

    We must have a plan protect ourselves. We must not generalize. In my opinion."



    In this case, his thrashing out was medically induced. When a pt is agitated due to something beyond their control, yes they are going to do what comes natural to them, which is to lash out. There is a HUGE difference in lashing out because something is going on and they have no control over it to someone just being mean spirited because they are not getting their way with something. I have noticed and often spoke to my husband that people for some reason are getting meaner. Either that or the media is covering it a lot more due to violence being a selling point.
    Last edit by Chay74 on Aug 17 : Reason: Add the quote
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Chay74
    "Sometimes a patient cannot be blamed for his or her actions.
    I've only been injured by a patient once. It was about 2:00 am when I heard my colleague call, "I can use some help in here."
    His patient was in flash pulmonary edema with 02 sat dropping. We knew his agitation and confusion were cause by hypoxia. I paged the resident on call. He said to put on )2 by non-rebreather.
    My colleague was applied wrist restraints. As I held the 02 mask on his face the patient kicked my cheek. I saw stars and was dizzy.

    After the patient was treated with IV Lasix, IV drips, had a pulmonary artery catheter inserted, and all the usual treatment he was againg alert.
    He sort of remembered kicking me saying, "I thought you had broken into my house and were tying me up."

    In my 18 years working nights in CCU I observed many patients become disoriented and combative when hypoxic.
    That is but one condition in which I cannot blame the patient.

    We must have a plan protect ourselves. We must not generalize. In my opinion."



    In this case, his thrashing out was medically induced. When a pt is agitated due to something beyond their control, yes they are going to do what comes natural to them, which is to lash out. There is a HUGE difference in lashing out because something is going on and they have no control over it to someone just being mean spirited because they are not getting their way with something. I have noticed and often spoke to my husband that people for some reason are getting meaner. Either that or the media is covering it a lot more due to violence being a selling point.
    Patients who are combative due to hypoxia, dementia or drug reactions are one thing. Patients who are combative because their ice water is too cold or their blanket is too heavy are quite another. And there is NO excuse for visitors to become violent.
  7. by   Chay74
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Patients who are combative due to hypoxia, dementia or drug reactions are one thing. Patients who are combative because their ice water is too cold or their blanket is too heavy are quite another. And there is NO excuse for visitors to become violent.

    RubyVee... that is what I was trying to say. Thank you. I couldn't put it into the correct order of words. Right now I am blaming the heat.
  8. by   SobreRN
    This will keep occurring as long as patients are not held accountable, the story of throwing the tray? THAT patient should have been charged with assault, they can arrest him as soon as he leaves the hospital. Let him use his defense of not liking eggs on a judge and see how far it gets him.
    Patients with dementia at al brain dysfunction excluded the rest should be dealt with in same manner they would be if they did this at a restaurant. Pain, drug use and being drunk do not work as a defense anywhere else and they shouldn't work in hospitals. People with all manner of pain and illness manage to conduct themselves appropriately every where else including the doctors office where they are arrested for assault.
    I guarantee a whole lot of patients would behave in a more civil fashion if they knew they were going to be arrested for assault. I work in corrections and they are charged with assault if they spit on, hit or throw something at the nurse.
    This needs to be policy in hospitals. Every hospital touts a zero-violence policy yet steps back and allows it when it is being committed by a patient. This needs to change.
  9. by   SobreRN
    I consider it criminal. If there is not another reason they cannot help they need to be held accountable. Same thing which would occur if they committed
    assault and battery at a fast food place; have them arrested and see how far "I was angry", goes as a defense before a judge.
  10. by   SobreRN
    Yes you can. Spitting on someone is assault.
  11. by   SobreRN
    I would press charges, I have a friend with whom I went to college who had several vertebral fractures being thrown over a gurney by a drunk. The drunk patient tried to defend his actions saying he was drunk. It did not fly and now he has a felony record.
    This needs to happen much more often.
  12. by   SobreRN
    I'm with you!
  13. by   SobreRN
    Quote from Foley6
    I love this site because it is realistic. I get so tired of reading articles that either ignore, or sugar coat the problems in nursing. Anyway, I work full time in a clinic where I do not do a lot of direct care. I kept my per-diem med/surg job to keep up with my skills and for some extra income. It became so bad that I finally called it quits. I am totally done with floor nursing, and hope to never return to it. I would have to be quite desperate to do so.
    I have been a nurse for over 20 years, and it seems to be getting worse. I blame most of it on the drug problem. I started to feel like a narcotics dealer. There seems to have been quite the increase in code grays called (dangerous person) than ever before. As agency nurse, I was often treated poorly by the staff as well. On one occasion, I called a staff member by the wrong name, and she threatened to key my car. I may not make the money that I used to, but my stress level is lower, and I do not have to put up with things like this. It is a shame because I too got into nursing to help people, but most of the time it just feels like everyone is angry with you.
    You nailed it!

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