Do you recognize abusive behavior in your unit?

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    Abuse, neglect or exploitation of a patient or resident of a care facility is a crime.


    I am sure all reading are thinking that they would never tolerate any such behavior. But do you?


    Think of the unconcious post op that comes in with bizarre tatoos or piercings. Remember that head patient screaming, fighting,spitting and punching their way out of the semi coma state. How about the new spinal injury with priapus? The traumathat comes into the ER with a limb sitting next to them.
    Now think of the nurse who was pointing out and commently on those tatoos in a nasty way. Who yelled back at that head pt or slapped his bottom to ease him pulling during a turn. Did someonesnarl back at that pt or sqeezed a limb hard to gain attention or the upper hand? Did someone lift the sheets and expose the ptwhose constant erection they thought funny enough to show all?
    Do you remember that attempted suicide? The one who lite himself on fire? Nurses talking freely about him,skin flying,fluids pumping,and thinking in his sedated state he could not hear? Or the self inflicted stab pt, a medical person, and the discussion that was held in her presence?
    Remember that trauma pt, fireman and rescue present,limbs being tossed back and forth. Such gaity in a room full of such loss. Now I know what one says. We were kidding. It was tension compensation. They could not hear us. Come on now, the rescueguys thought it was funny. Oh you have no sence of humor!
    Patient abuse and neglect comes in many shapes,forms and degrees. It is kicked aside,rationalized and overlooked by themajority. Professionals afraid to be different and speak up. Not wanting to cause a stir,loose a friend or provoke the click.
    Yet we say we advocate for the patient and family. Who rights do we really protect by allowing some of the behavior we do?
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Nov 29, '07 : Reason: Spacing
    smily nurse, anoro, kburns0016, and 3 others like this.

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    About cmo421

    From 'Ct'; 54 Years Old; Joined Jul '07; Posts: 391; Likes: 291.

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    1 Comments so far...

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    I work on a 34 bed med surg unit and we are so lucky because we have a great, caring staff and our staffing ratios are wonderful. I hope that I would see signs of patient abuse, but I don't know. Once when I was director of a large inner city hospital ED I had a male employee accused of sexually assaulting a female patient in the exam room. We went to trial and he was found not guilty (although I knew he was). In later years after I left, he was accused again. I don't know if charges were filed but he was terminated.

    I agree with you. We do see humor in some of the horrible things we see every day and I do think that we have to blow off steam from time to time. But it must be done in an appropriate place, where no one but the staff can here. And when you are out on the floor and taking care of the patient, you must be on your best behavior and demonstrate professional behavior at all times.
    Karley9336 and petgroomer like this.


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