Quote from Emery
Hi! I'm a pre-nursing student and I am in Intro to Health Care this semester. My teacher said that if a patient attacks you, you're not allowed to defend your self. I was kind of shocked at that and when I questioned it, she was very insistant that nurses are not allowed to physically do anything to the patient to get them away. I don't know much at all, but I know if a patient is biting me or grabbing me in such a way that I will get hurt, my first reaction would be to not hit them but to get them off of me in anyway that I can. Am I wrong in my thinking? What do you do when a patient gets violent? I'm a little confused.
Thanks in advance for your advice!
I agree with Mjlrn97, your teacher is flat wrong. Ask any ER or psych nurse where there is a high incident of violence. Think about it, if a patient is choking you, you are not allow to try to save yourself? Now in the case of choking, there are different techniques ranging from doing no harm or pain to the patient to causing some pain (but no pernmanent damage), to phsycially disabling or even killing the patient. Obviously you want to use the least amount of force to get away depending on how you are trained.
Or take another situation, a patient is choking the living daylight out of another patient. So, you are suppose to use nonphyscial (pure verbal) technique convince the choker to let go of the chokee? If you are trained right, you would be able to remove the choker fast with no damage (it will involve some pain), but it does involve phsycical contact.
Now if you use any kind of physical force, you always have the potential of being sued especially if it somehow "violate" your unit policy. So use minimal force is always the best but that assume you are properly trained.
Why don't you post the above two scenrio to the teacher and see what is the answer. It might clarify what the teacher meant.