I refuse to be a punching bag - NO MORE ASSAULT - page 3

I am writing this post because I am trying to empower all nurses regardless of title to stand up to this mentality that we have to take abuse. Where did this myth come from? Why is it that we are... Read More

  1. by   Batman25
    If a patient of sound mind were to hit me I'd call the police. I wouldn't put up with abuse in my personal life and I certainly won't have it in my professional life either. Same goes for families and friends of the patients. If you strike me the cops will be called and I will press charges. Thankfully this really isn't an issue where I work to date. It could be because we have strong management and a unified team of nurses that just wouldn't allow or condone it.

    I know some nurses are asked not to call the police, pressured not to report it, etc. and that's a shame. We aren't talking about patients with traumatic brain injuries lashing out but those who just didn't get their water in time and don't see why they can't have triple the drugs they want. It shouldn't be tolerated. I would go to the phone and make the call. You don't need permission to report a battery. You don't give up your rights as a citizen as an employee.

    Typically the instant someone gets verbally out of hand they get an instant warning. After that security is called and they get the boot. Hit someone and go to jail.
  2. by   mtdnk
    In New York State it is a felony to assault a nurse. Law effective 11/10!! We lobbied hard for this one, it's in your power to do the same in your own state!
  3. by   mtdnk
    Quote from Missjewel22
    What can we Nurses do about the disrespectful way we are treated by some physicians, administration, patients and family members?

    For example, a patient of mine in labor and delivery didn't want to go home, but she wasn't in labor and the physician wrote the order to send her home. The nurse following me explained to the patient that she wasn't in labor. The patient then proceeded to call the nurse a "*****" and a "f..... *****". She then turned the whole story around and wrote letters to our nurse manager who totally kissed up to the patient, apologized profusely and gave her cell number to the patient, in case she had any further problems.

    I know the nurse that was verbally abused and she is a young, very kind nurse. She in no way deserved or illicited this.

    I am so tired of the lack of respect that we get. I wonder what would of happened if she said that to a doctor?
    New legislation being fought for in NY- "Healthy Workplace". Addresses bullying in the workplace. It's our responsibility to identify and fight for legal protection!
  4. by   Missjewel22
    Quote from mtdnk
    New legislation being fought for in NY- "Healthy Workplace". Addresses bullying in the workplace. It's our responsibility to identify and fight for legal protection!
    I live in Texas.....here the clinical management bent over backwards to do whatever the patient wanted even though the physician told them that this patient had a history of verbal abuse towards her and her staff.

    It is so disheartening.
  5. by   Missjewel22
    Quote from patient1977
    As a patient, I think I owe the same respect to the nurse that I expect from him/her. Most mentally competent patients should know that it is not within their best interest to **** off the people that are caring for you.

    When I went to the hospital with my third child I was trying to get the staff to understand that I was IN LABOR. The only person who believed me was the clerk. I guess since I wasn't begging and screaming for drugs the nurses didn't believe me. After making me walk down a long hall while the nurse stood at the door and offered no assistance, even though I almost fell out from my contractions, I had had it. I had REPEATEDLY tried to get these people to understand I was in labor. By the time the nurse finally got around to doing a vaginal exam there was no cervix, the were feeling my son's HEAD. At this point they damn near ran over themselves to get everything ready. At this point I let the nurses have it verbally. I don't even remember what I said.

    Most of the time I have let things slide that I probably shouldn't. I think respect is something that is degrading in our society as a whole, not just in healthcare.
    I'm not going to lie. I have seen patients treated like that but this patient was not. She was almost like the borderline patients that I used to work with when I was a musing student, at a psych hospital. She had offered to pay me ( and she was not joking) to break her water as she was tired of being pregnant.

    I realize that she had major issues and in no way do I believe in pressing charges against a mentally ill patient but......where are the nurses rights? How degrading that management chose to kiss up to her rather than standing by their nurses- especially when she had had no other complaints against her and several of our co-workers verified her story.
  6. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from gentlegiver
    It is a federal crime to assault a Police Officer, Fireman, EMT or Doctor...
    No, it is not.
    We need to make it a law that Assaulting a NURSE is just as serious as any of the above professions.
    Here in California, it is precisely the same penalty for assaulting a nurse as it is for assaulting a cop. The difference, of course, is that if you assault a cop, your gonna get your payback immediately and with interest. Not so, with the nurse... we're not supposed to hit them back, right?
    How about we all flood our Congressmen with requests for such a law.
    You already said how bad it is if you press charges... it's not a matter of the law so much as it is a matter of nurses themselves just not tolerating it. A collective bargaining contract will give you a whole lot more "cover" to deal with that behavior than will additional penalties.

    I would also be sure to keep federal and state workplace safety folks informed about the risks. Every worker has a right to a safe workplace. I would also be concerned about supporting the dramatic Republican moves to defund and dismantle anything not related to the military... surely y'all realize that they have their sights set on OSHA... bad for business, y'know...
  7. by   KUNursingStudent
    I am in total favor of the OP! Yes treating the patients is TOP priority, however, some may argue that we cannot walk away from a bleeding person because they are combative and the old grandma because she scratched us, we are a class of working society that is already overworked, at times frowned upon, and arguably, under-paid. Just like if you walk through airport-security, there's a level of respect and cooperation. When you're on an aircraft, you can't expect to spit or hit a flight attendant because your bags cannot fit and you have gate check it instead, and get away with it. And they're there to service you and assist in an emergency - those days (of assaulting airline employees) are over! Nurses must follow-suit!! #IJS
  8. by   RNatLarge
    Can someone please edit this article for spelling and such? Ex: supposed, their vs there, etc. Then I would gladly share it.
  9. by   Brian
    Great discussion! I just wanted to point out a similar thread with with a poll asking nurses Nurses, have you been been spit on, pushed, scratched and verbally or assaulted? You all might want to take on second to vote in that poll.

    The spelling issues of the original post have been checked. Thanks

    For related reading, I have also tagged several related thread with violence towards nurses or in the workplace: http://allnurses.com/tags/violence.html

    Carry on
    Last edit by brian on Apr 18, '11
  10. by   enchantmentdis
    Quote from RNatLarge
    Can someone please edit this article for spelling and such? Ex: supposed, their vs there, etc. Then I would gladly share it.


    How about the one who said when she was a "musing student". Ya think she meant nursing student?
  11. by   Airidis
    Quote from Altra
    Someone hits you or bites you and your response is that you "do not appreciate their behavior"?




    No, that's not correct. Every state has statutes which make it a specific crime to assault a police officer. Most states similarly protect fire fighters and EMS workers. Twenty states, most recently Virginia, have enacted legislation which specifically cover emergency department staff including physicians and nurses. That means 30 states are not yet on board with this concept ... for nurses or for physicians.

    I'm sure there are federal codes which apply to the assualt of federal law enforcement officers such as Border Patrol, Federal Marshals, Customs agents, etc.
    What would you have me do in a LTC? Call the police?that will look great to my boss
  12. by   ShayRN
    I really judge this on a case by case basis. I have had to call the cops on family members and will again. Abuse by them I will NEVER tolerate. Had a patient just the other night grab my neck and try to strangle me, he was so confused he didn't even know his own name. I am SURE if he was with it that never would have happened and I would never hold it against him.
  13. by   browpe24
    I agree. I cannot believe that you all get in trouble for make trouble for the hospital that you work for if you press charges. Assualt is assualt, how can they say a nurse is any different from a fireman, police officer, or a Doctor getting assulted? To me It is worse because you deal with the family more.

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