The Risks of Nursing.....

  1. Nurses, I hope these are not stupid questions. But I have to ask....because if you don't ask, then you won't know.

    I'm currently going for my BS in Nursing, but are still taking all of my pre-reques. I want to know from all of the experienced nurses, if you all have ever been threatened by a family member of a patient of yours, that died under your operation? Also, if a patient with AIDS ever attempted to stick you after learning their status?

    The reason why I'm curious, is because this is the stuff I never really hear about.


    Thanks!! And Happy Holidays!!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   gentle
    Quote from mzstacia
    Nurses, I hope these are not stupid questions. But I have to ask....because if you don't ask, then you won't know.

    I'm currently going for my BS in Nursing, but are still taking all of my pre-reques. I want to know from all of the experienced nurses, if you all have ever been threatened by a family member of a patient of yours, that died under your operation? Also, if a patient with AIDS ever attempted to stick you after learning their status?

    The reason why I'm curious, is because this is the stuff I never really hear about.


    Thanks!! And Happy Holidays!!
    Hello,
    Though I have not heard of the above mentioned scenarios, there are many challenges with which nurses are faced on a daily to weekly basis.

    I think the best way to find answers to your questions from a very candid perspective would be to search the forum for workplace violence. Its not that I do not wish to answer your question. I believe that you will find answers to your questions and perhaps some helpful solutions to these difficult situations.

    I know I have.

    Sincerely,
    gentle
  4. by   RNinSoCal
    All of my AIDs patients have been really sweet and grateful for a caring touch. I personally have never known a nurse to be threatened or harmed by that pt population. I have been threatened by more than one patient that had an uncontrolled psych disorder but never harmed. Strangely enough the only patients that have ever hurt me were Alzheimers patients, they sometimes grab at staff when they are agitated.
    When I worked in Los Angeles county patients would threaten to sue the hospital all of the time, but I have never been sued. It is a power play thing there. Family members of a dying person can get very demanding but it is out of grief and with help they can redirect their feelings.
    As you go through your nursing career you will gain the ability to deal with many different types of situations that you never imagined.
    Nursing has its challenges but for me it is very rewarding.
  5. by   K98
    Never had a problem with an AIDs pt., but have had some exciting incidents with others. The CNA working with me was kicked in the head while assisting me in placing a pt. in soft restraints (he had just pulled his NG and foley). Same pt. told me that he hoped that my whole family would die. On Christmas Day a pt. flung a handful of feces at one of the nurses working with me. Ho,ho,ho. This was in an ICU btw. As far as lawsuits, families threaten to sue from time to time, but I only know of one staff member that has had to appear in court.
    Last edit by K98 on Dec 28, '06 : Reason: spelling
  6. by   athena55
    Hello. Hospital violence has been around for a long time, be it staff on staff, patient on staff, visitor on staff or patient, visitor on visitor etc. The last time I was attacked was from a young man who had leukemic infiltrates to the brain. I bent over him to take some blood from his arterial line, and he grabbed me by the neck and started to squeeze. Thank goodness another nurse just happened by and sounded the alarm (I had passed out by that point).
    Yes, does happen. You need to be aware and protect yourself and protect your patients and visitors. I have included some websites that you might find informative.
    www.saione.com/Violence_Epidemic.pdf
    Hospital eTool: HealthCare Wide Hazards - Violence Incident Report Forms
    BBC NEWS | Health | Hospital cuts attacks on staff
    As far as taking care of people with HIV/AIDS, never a problem, unless they were confused r/t the disease process.
    I also advocate that each professional nurse carry malpractice insurance.
    Have a safe, healthy, happy New Year 2007
    athena
  7. by   mzstacia
    Thankyou soo much for all of your responses. They were very helpful. I will check out the websites that one of you left for me as well as do my best to learn all I can while trying to be as careful and professional as possible.
    :smiley_aa
    Thanks to all!! Have a Safe and Happy rest of this Year!!!!
  8. by   Epona
    Interesting discussion here. One nurse mentioned that she was almost strangled by a patient and thank goodness another nurse walked by and sounded the alarm.... Ok.. what would have happened had that nurse not walked by?????????????

    What is the best way to protect yourself?? It seems like you never know when a patient may lash out and nail you as the target. I am starting RN school in a week and any advice is appreciated... thanks!!! E
  9. by   Epona
    Oh.. and does this happen to male healthcare workers too?? Or do patients seem to lash out more at the female sector??
  10. by   mzstacia
    Epona...how far along do you have before you are finished with school?
  11. by   Epona
    Hi mzstacia. I start in a week.................
  12. by   janetjanetbobanet
    Quote from Epona
    Oh.. and does this happen to male healthcare workers too?? Or do patients seem to lash out more at the female sector??
    A male co-worker had an aids patient spit in his eye, deliberately. But generally I think women are lashed out at more and patients tend to settle down more with a male presence.
  13. by   Epona
    That is TERRIBLE that the AIDS patient did that on purpose. How rotten. Shows you how much they think of us.

    Well if I ever take care of someone with AIDS I guess I will have to wear goggles now. Guess you just never know how a patient may react. How sad really when we are there for THEM.

    And oh... I have finished my first semester of RN school and I made the Dean's List. Yipee!!
  14. by   HvnSntRN
    deleted
    Last edit by HvnSntRN on Jul 4, '07 : Reason: TMI

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