Abuse support by colleagues

  1. 0 The ugly reality of abuse support for colleagues by colleagues rears it head too
    frequently, I believe, in this world of "care and compassion". It is not unique to any one entity of vocation but it becomes untenable when it renders its potentially dysfunctional outcomes upon those who are the receiptents of nursing care. It becomes even more untenable when one's reporting of patient abuse meets an inmovable object of
    "silence by omission" and some times "by intent" by professional colleagues,who,for
    some undescribable rationale, put their individual and/or collective heads in the sand. Are my observations too generalized or have others experienced this professonal malaise of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil when it comes to professionals reporting on professionals. (the term "professional",in
    this context, is a misnomer)
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  3. Visit  Anthony Marc profile page

    About Anthony Marc

    From 'Canada'; Joined Oct '99; Posts: 7.

    14 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Sharon profile page
    0
    What to do when you are the victim of abuse from a co-worker (including doctors and managers).

    1. Contact the Employee Assistance Manager and register as a battered person.
    2. File a police report for assault and battery.
    3. Go to EEOC and file a complaint of hostile work environment.
    4. File an occupational occurrence report.
    5. Notify the facility's legal department of what you have done.
    6. Write a letter to the mother of the person abusing you. It is amazing how much influence parents have on adult children.

    Resources:

    Nurse Advocate: Nurses and Workplace Violence http://www.nurseadvocate.org /
    American Society for Industrial Safety http://www.asisonline.org/index.html
    9 to 5 National Association of Working Women's Job Survival Hotline:1800-522-0925
    Women Work!The National Network for Women's Employment 1800-235-2732
  5. Visit  Anthony Marc profile page
    0
    Thank you for that input. Now, do you have a process relevant to the abuse by a professional upon a patient to whom the
    care of that patient has been entrusted as opposed to the professional being abused. And, secondly, are you able to identify the process that may be used by a professional who, in concert with other professionals ,have witnessed said abuse of patient but would rather NOT get involved by witnessing
    against their peers.
  6. Visit  ecb profile page
    0
    Hi
    Write one letter, cc it to yur DON, Admininstrator, CEO, Locan Umbudsman, or state (you know the folks that come in and everyone gets upset{I cannot think of the office title now} State Inspectors who can shut us down) and your State Board of Nursing. They might loose their licence but the job will folow through (thay have to)
    Good luck, I hate that part too.

    ------------------
    *** May we all have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, and the determination to change what we cannot accept. ***
  7. Visit  Sharon profile page
    0
    I have only seen it happen twice with adults. (I am assuming that this is an adult issue because most professionals know what to do with children.) The first was an LPN and the second time was a physician who did the abuse. The case involving the LPN occurred in a state that had mandated abuse reporting of "at risk persons" regardless of age.

    Both individuals had abused other patients prior to my becoming aware of the situations. I filed a police report and reported the abusers to their respective professional boards. Additional charges were brought against the professionals who did not report the abuse once they were aware. Some of the non-reporters, after negotiating a gag order, surrendered their licenses. In the state with mandated reporting, some of the non reporting professionals had to hire criminal attorneys to defend themselves. At one point charges of torture were brought against the physician and the non reporting professionals.

    1. I report all abuse to the police. By no means do I know the ins and outs of the criminal code in the many locations I work so I let the police decide the criminality of the event(s).
    2. I notify the professional board. I am not going to lose my license for the people who shouldn't be licensed.
    3. I notify my supervisor and the hospital risk management department.
    4. If I am aware a person is in a regulated protected group, I also contact social services. I have had experiences were the police and social services did not notify each other.

    Once you have reported to the police, any intimidation by facility representatives or co-workers is a federal offense, also known as witness tampering.
  8. Visit  Anthony Marc profile page
    0
    Thank you! Your response certainly indicates
    your comittment to professionalism and a safe
    /secure environment for those under your care.

    The process you have defined is clear and
    direct... I am going to pass it along to
    my colleagues and more importantly, I am
    going to place it on the Nurses Bulletin
    Board , at work! It just might awaken one
    to an awareness state, of how serious an act patient abuse is and how severe the
    outcome will be to the abuser.
  9. Visit  diapercity profile page
    0
    Hi it is me the student again. Okay... patients daughter (power of attorney) has refused hearing aid for mother (per mother's wishes?) So the staff "bellows" at patient, hence the patient becomes angry and uncooperative after such visits. Does"nt this boarder on abuse?

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  10. Visit  Anthony Marc profile page
    0
    Describing that as abuse or eclipsing on
    abuse could , in turn, be described as
    a "quandrant leap of logic"...what you have
    here , it would appear,(without knowing
    all the facts) ,is, a daughter's refusal that may be abusive and not the staff's response to their perceived hearing dysfunction of the patient.


    If the facts support the daughter's position that her mother does not need a hearing aid
    and the nurses are "bellowing" at the patient
    in order to support their position that
    "mother" needs an aid, when ,in fact, she
    does not, then, it may reasonably be assummed
    that the professionals ,under this scenario,
    are being abusive. However! I stress , one
    must have the facts. If your concern is of
    such intensity re: abuse vs non-abuse, in this instance, I would contemplate placing
    a concern to your immediate supervisor..Your clincial Instructor(tress). Excellent Question,by the way!

    [This message has been edited by Anthony Marc (edited December 27, 1999).]
  11. Visit  ecb profile page
    0
    ok
    the abuse may infact be (active)neglect or passive neglect.
    Active is where someone KNOWINGLY denies needed service or care (wil not pay for hearing aides) passive is allowing neglect to occure thrugh lack of thought or aquiessing to the whims of the resident/patient (mother does nt think she is deaf so i will not upset her by FORCING her to wear hearing aids)
    staff should be speaking in a tone just loud enough to be heard by the patient, bellowing implies that they are going through the whole facial changes that make the volume visual as well as audatory (THIS is a dignety issue and can be abuse, in the form of belittling, or making jest of. {I have seen family members intentionally be obnoxious about a SUPPOSED hearing deficite whenin fact it was a dementia related response}
    I am NOT saying staff is making fun of or belittling this resident, but the residents response indicates that there are hurt feelings on the residents part:-(

    Am I making any sense?
    I hope so
    JMHO Good luck

    ------------------
    *** May we all have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, and the determination to change what we cannot accept. ***
  12. Visit  Anthony Marc profile page
    0
    ecb... I forwarded a response but the
    Major difficulty with this process, I find,
    it does not return one to the text of the
    response after one has clicked the "submit" icon, having made an error in entering one's login name or password.
    It is so frustrating! Hopefully I will
    try my respose at another time. Thank you
    for your response.
  13. Visit  tavalon profile page
    0
    Quote from Sharon
    What to do when you are the victim of abuse from a co-worker (including doctors and managers).

    1. Contact the Employee Assistance Manager and register as a battered person.
    2. File a police report for assault and battery.
    3. Go to EEOC and file a complaint of hostile work environment.
    4. File an occupational occurrence report.
    5. Notify the facility's legal department of what you have done.
    6. Write a letter to the mother of the person abusing you. It is amazing how much influence parents have on adult children.

    Resources:

    Nurse Advocate: Nurses and Workplace Violence http://www.nurseadvocate.org /
    American Society for Industrial Safety http://www.asisonline.org/index.html
    9 to 5 National Association of Working Women's Job Survival Hotline:1800-522-0925
    Women Work!The National Network for Women's Employment 1800-235-2732
    Alas, most of those predicate on physical abuse. The vast majority of us have been verbally abused. Verbal abuse is actually far more prevalent and in some ways, more damaging.
  14. Visit  veteranRN profile page
    0
    One time I reported "suspected" physical abuse by a CNA towards residents. It seemed everytime she care for residents they received bruises and skin tears. The DON told me it was my responsibility to catch her in the act and therefor prove she was abusing the residents. Luckily, the state board of health didn't have the same belief and took immediate action.
  15. Visit  slml1578 profile page
    0
    I have been an RN since 2002. I worked on a med-surg unit in a hospital for over a yr and a half which was my first RN job out of school, but left because of wanting a job closer to home. I took a job in a NH. During the three months and one week that I was employed there, I felt more overwhelmed and frustrated than I ever did at the hospital, and I had made these concerns known to the DON and ADON on three different occassions, in which they gave a few suggestions that offered either little or no help for me. On the last day that I worked at the NH, I was thirty to forty minutes past due time to be getting the am med pass completed, due to several resident requests, phone calls from family members and doctors, phone calls to family members or doctors concerning various residents' status'. The DON approaches me while I am at the med cart and asks me if I need anything, and at that point in time I was feeling very overwhelmed and frustrated, and stated to her that yes I would like to talk to her and the ADON at some point that day to find out what I need to do to be able to quit because I didn't feel that I was the right person for this job and that this job was right for me. She said that here afterwhile we'd talk about it. I also ask her if she was aware that the front and back hall assignment divisions weren't evenly divided up (I the back hall nurse had 24-25 residents with 2 to possibly 3 admissions expected admissions that day, and the front hall nurse had only 17-18 residents with only one expected admission). Her reply to this was that she wasn't aware of how the assignments were divided but that she was aware of the admissions, and that her and the ADON would redivide the assignments here afterwhile. The conversations about my wanting to quit and the assignment redivisions never occured. The rest of the day went on as usual, drowning under more and more paper work, getting further behind. Then evening time rolls around, about one half hour before the night shift comes in. I am standing at the med cart reviewing the MAR's, trying to compile my end of shift report, and work on one of the admissions paperwork. During all of this a CNA approaches me and says that two of the residents didn't get their hamburgers for dinner. I then told her that she could call the kitchen and reorder them. She then stated that she'd done that and the kitchen staff replied that they were out of hamburgers but that she could come down and get 2 big dinner salads in place of the hamburgers for them, and that when she went to pick them up she saw that all of the kitchen staff were eating hamburgers. So now I have this info and I'm sure that there's another form or paperwork that I have to write up on about this, but I didn't know what or where it would be, but it just so happened that the admissions counselor who was an LPN who had worked the floor there for 5 or so years prior to getting this position, was standing at the nurses station having a conversation about her new home with an orienting nurse, whose only task for the past 4 to 5 hours of the shift was to be completing one of my admissions. I began to try to explain to her what had been told to me by the CNA when a resident, who is known and documented for making several repetitive requests for Tylenol daily, approaches me at the med cart and begins making the repetitive request for Tylenol. I then looked at their MAR to see when it was due and saw that it was not yet time for them to get it. I then explained to the resident that it was not yet time for it and also explained how long it would be and what the time on the clock would look like as to when they could get it. The resident then began to repetitively say okay. I then began where I had left off, explaining to the admissions counselor, about the hamburger situation, when only 30 seconds to a minute had passed and the same resident began to make the repetitive request for Tylenol again. I then re-explained, verbatim, to the resident, what I had told them before, and again their response was repetitively, okay. I then again began to try to begin where I had left off with the admissions counselor, when again another 30 seconds to a minute passes and the resident begins to again make the repetitive request for Tylenol. At this point, my head was pounding with a headache, because of everything I still had yet to finish (ie. admissions paperwork, paperwork for the hamburger situation, reviewing the MAR's, and compilation of my end of shift report). I then became frustrated because I wasn't getting anywhere. I slammed my fists down on the med cart (in which the resident was nowhere near), and loudly said to the resident, would you please stop being rude and interupting me when I am trying to explain something to someone else, I already explained to you that it is not yet time for your Tylenol. Then about 15 minutes later the admissions counselor approaches me behind the nurses station and asks me how much more stuff I have to finish. I told her that I still had about 75 to 80% of my paperwork left to finish and some phone calls to make to some doctors and family members. She then said to me that she was sending me home (granted it was time to go home anyway, by this time). I then said okay, but I still have paperwork and stuff to finish. She then said that it didn't matter, she was still sending me home. I then began to think that something bad had happened at home and that she wasn't wanting to tell me because she was afraid that I may have an accident on the way home, so I ask her if someone had called from my house. She then said no. I then ask her why she was sending me home even though I still had things to finish. She then said that the way that I had talked to the resident was completely out of line and she had recieved the okay to send me home from the DON over the phone. I then, replied okay. During this situation nobody offered me any help, nobody even attempted to redirect the resident. They either thought that the whatever conversation they were having or that picking up dinner trays was more important than redirecting a resident or helping out.
    So, now after all that, my RN license is under investigation for verbal abuse. Nobody will hire while I am under investigation by the state RN board and are even more reluctant to hire me if I am given probation as my reprimand. This has been under investigation for seven months now by the state board and can still take another eleven months before they render a decision on my reprimand, even though I admitted what I said and how I said it. My state board also tells me that hypothetically, if I were to recieve a 3, 6, or 12 month or so probationary license, that it is not uncommon for someone in that type of situation to spend 2 or 3 years trying to find someplace to employ them to be able to work out their probationary status. I am at a complete hardship financially. My previous employer at the hospital, with who I left in good standing and told me that if I ever wanted to come back there that they'd definitely rehire me, won't hire me back now. I presently work 2 six dollar an hour jobs. The state board says that I can work as an RN now because presently I have a fully valid unemcumbered license, but that if a prospective employer were to ask a question of there being anything pending against my license, they would tell them yes, which I understand.
    I would like someone to talk with who may have some insight to this type of situation. I would also like to hear some opinions about this. I admit that I was loud. But I didn't utter a curse word or belittle the resident. I have been told by other healthcare professionals that they don't see where I was verbally abusive, and that I shouldn't have ever made my desire to quit known to the DON earlier that day.


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