Can nurses refuse to care for angry patient? - page 2

by skybirdrising

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Can a nurse refuse care to a patient if they feel threatened? Verbally abusive? Sexually harassed/touched? What if you are already 'enemy' with the patient from a personal experience outside of work?... Read More


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    I once did a postpartum home visit on a lady who had the last name of one of my old boyfriends who was some- what "psychotic." I asked the homecare co-ordinator what pt's hubby's first name was. She told me it was"Michael." Ok, I thought. It's not him. His middle name was Michael, but he went by his first name "Paul." I said to her, it's definitely not "Paul". No it's not. I go to the house and gee guess who answers the door. It's Mr. Kooky himself. Well, he left the house thankfully. I offerred to call the agency and send someone else, but his wife said it was o.k. w/ her for me to do the visit. She was very nice. Just before I left, he returned and stated he'd be back in 20 minutes and I'd better be gone. I told him that was no problem. He had been such a creep. He broke my car windows when we broke up. I called the home care agency and told them that it was the guy I was trying to avoid. I thought he'd complain about me, but he said nothing. What a weird experience! i was really mad at the agency. I would've never put myself in that position voluntarily.
  2. 1
    The lady who refused to be discharged definitely sends my "borderline personality" radar to humming!

    As far as caring for abusive patients, I am no more obligated to tolerate physical abuse at work than I would be walking the street. Any pt who gets physical with me would discover that it's illegal to assault someone regardless of the setting.

    Pt's who are verbally abusive come to an understanding with me that they will be cared for and I will be treated with respect. That's the tradeoff.

    The only time I have traded an assignment is when I have known the pt on a personal level. Ethics plus good old common sense demands you not care for someone with whom you have a close personal relationship. It can impede your judgement and put you and/or the patient at risk.
    carolinapooh likes this.
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    Nurse Rachet you are right on the money. NEVER accept abuse from patient, family members, supervisor, or doctors. File report and press charges. It will not be appreciated and will lead to being shown the door at sometime most likely, but we are responsible for the behavior we tolerate. I have often been given a patient who has complaints against other nurse, doctor, and facility. I always gave them form to fill out and often asked for member of administration to visit them. What I did not do was comment on complaint. If I did not see abuse, neglect, or poor treatment, I never sat myself up as judge or jury of those being accused. Remember, we all have personality quirks, we don't want another professional judging us without the facts.
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    a nasty copd who refused his bipap, peed all over the floor, pulled his IV's and was yelling for help. When I entered the room, he was taking a swing at his nurse and promising he would track her down and kill her.

    Now...why do these people come to the hospital? Just to fight with us?? The nurse was concerned and asked me what to do. I suggested she write an incident report and consider notifying the police, because this is not a confused old blowhard type patient. Just a mean abusive man.

    She did nothing. And this scares me, because one call to the BON and this man will have her address.
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    I could go on and on about some of my LTC residents. It would be nice to refuse to care for them, but "This is thier home" and we only have 2 nurses. Now I'm not complaining about the demented residents who truely don't have a clue to what they are doing... Im talking about the A & O residents... and their families.... Well even the psychotic ones have rights too, but what about the other residents and our safety..... Too bad administration just wants to fill a bed and god forbid these people aren't appropriate for our level of care... I almost had to call the cops the other day to 302 a resident that adm refused to deal with...
  6. 0
    Quote from skybirdrising
    Can a nurse refuse care to a patient if they feel threatened? Verbally abusive? Sexually harassed/touched? What if you are already 'enemy' with the patient from a personal experience outside of work?

    - Page 4- Nursing for Nurses
    "Can I take one of your patients for this one? No and I resent your asking."


    Here is another thread.
  7. 0
    Quote from mattsmom81
    She did nothing. And this scares me, because one call to the BON and this man will have her address.
    Or he can wait and follow her, or have a friend or relative follow her, and he will get away with anything he does to her.


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