Nurses face rising tide of violence; now a felony to assault a nurse in 38 states - page 3

Philadelphia inquirer Sunday, November 27, 201 Nurses face rising tide of violence; It's now a felony to assault a nurse by Lauren Auty, RN, BSN Read more:... Read More

  1. by   caregiver1977
    It is compensated. It isn't a great deal of money. Basically she insists on paying me. Not quite sure why it makes a difference that it is for a relative.
  2. by   sharpeimom
    my experience with workplace violence was on a locked forensic psych ward. the pt. had been a he**'s angel with a very violent temper (even as he**'s angels go) and had committed cruel, violent, and sadistic crimes against several people. he was given his court-mandated drugs by im route while sitting in the restraint chair, if that were the only way to do it at any given time.

    that day, he had wanted "cigarettes, booze, bi***es, and drugs, drugs, drugs." he got drugs all right,
    just not the ones he had wanted. it took 4 linebacker-sized aides plus an equally large psychiatrist to
    give him his meds and they did absolutely nothing. not. a. thing. they gave him more and eventually he settled down enough to go into an observation cell. he was checked upon every 15 minutes. when he said he had to pee, i called two huge husky aides someone had nicknames "the bookends" to assist. he broke away and came at me. despite the aides, he reached, grabbed me, and suddenly i was airborne.

    they pulled me away but not before he had grabbed my shoulder and opposite hip, yanked hard and said,
    "make a wish, bi***!" my shoulder was torn and my hip was bruised. i was almost 5'4" and weighed maybe 115# while he was over 7' and weighed well over 400#. not an even match. the guys got him restraints again and then helped me. i ended up being carried to the car and driven to the er, where each bruise and injury was photographed, i was x-rayed, treated, and sent home with pain pills.

    i was off six weeks and since i lived on the third floor in a non-elevator building, it was a long six weeks. when i got back to work, guess who had been adjudicated as being fit and competent for trial?
    new meds, plus i think he was afraid for perhaps the first time in his life. really afraid.

    i wasn't just still physically bruised and healing when i returned to work, but worse than that, i was terrified of each patient i had to interact with -- on any level. i just knew it would happen again and at any time. i was always looking over my shoulder and constantly double checking myself. for about two weeks, i took an aide with me everywhere but to the ladies room. i had nightmares. i stopped wearing jewelry away from work for the same reason i didn't wear it to work. the emtional stress became worse than my physical pain. after counseling, i was myself again.

    it's been more than 30 years since it happened. i need a new right shoulder because this one has a tear almost as long as a dollar bill in the rotator cuff, plus tiny tears but due to my fragile neuro status, it's tx using voltarin gel, lidocaine patches, heat and ice, exersises, and intermittent pt. my hip now has arthritis which i would probably have by now anyway, given family hx, but who knows?

    should it me a felony to attack a nurse? he** yes!!
    should every psych pt. be immune to prosecution? nope! paraphrasing what the judge and psychiatrists
    who decided my attacker was sane enough to stand trial said: "he's as mean as he is nuts!" and i think that should be factored in when deciding whether or not to charge the attacker.

    end of rant!
    Last edit by sharpeimom on Dec 9, '11 : Reason: typo
  3. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from canigraduate
    I see your point. But really, how large a fraction of the assaulters are not in their right mind due to illness?
    From what I see, the vast majority are in their right mind.

    Unless you consider spoiled rotten, never required to account for poor behavior, poor impulse control, lack of patience and entitlement issues...... being out of their right mind.

    It amazes me that a "client" beats up a nurse, they are so upset that they "couldn't help themselves" and are not in the right minds. But when the police show up, and someone tries to charge they suddenly can control themselves, even when they same stressors are present.

    Fear of punishment has an amazing ability to teach "control" to the uncontrollable.
  4. by   classicdame
    don't ask the nurse to make the decision if this person is sane at that moment now. Stop the violence, even if it includes a felony charge. Truly crazy people can be triaged out of the system later.
  5. by   Altra
    Quote from caregiver1977
    Not quite sure why it makes a difference that it is for a relative.
    Do you have any experience caring for non-relatives - with a patient/client with whom you have only a professional relationship?

    Do you think that there is a difference in interpersonal dynamics between family members and the dynamics between strangers?
  6. by   caregiver1977
    Okay, part of my thinking/questioning comes from some cases I have known of, some of them being local to the area I live.

    One that stands out in particular is an elderly man who was taking someone else's child to daycare one day. He worked at a local car dealership. I guess he was so used to his daily routine that he forgot to drop of the little child and went on to his job at the dealership. I live in central Mississippi and it was during the hottest part of the summer, which can be pretty hot and humid. The child suffocated to death in his little car seat.

    No charges were filed against this man because it was deemed a true mistake. But that didn't make the child any less dead, or the parents suffer any less. Why are some things like this excused and others not? If the same kind of law that was in the OP's post was applied to the man who accidently killed a child by leaving him in the car during a hot, Mississippi day for hours then he would be in jail for life, maybe even get the death penalty.

    I have also known of older people being excused from charges of crimes they commit (most I have heard of have been behind the wheel) because they were having a medical problem at the time. Sometimes people are excused when they are having a medical problem.

    If this somehow doesn't compare to the OP's post, then please understand that I am just trying to get some understanding, not offend or argue with anyone.
  7. by   canigraduate
    Yeah, caregiver1977, your argument doesn't apply here. The article is about a law addressing violence towards nurses, not about sick elders running amok. The main thrust is that anyone who assaults a nurse should have to face the same consequences as someone who assaults anyone else. This has been an interesting side trip, but is not relevant to the original article.
  8. by   caregiver1977
    Quote from canigraduate
    Yeah, caregiver1977, your argument doesn't apply here. The article is about a law addressing violence towards nurses, not about sick elders running amok. The main thrust is that anyone who assaults a nurse should have to face the same consequences as someone who assaults anyone else. This
    has been an interesting side trip, but is not relevant to the original article.
    And sometimes there are no charges due to the circumstances when "anyone else" is assaulted. I am in no way supporting violence against nurses! I am only saying that felony charges may not always apply with every assault.

    OMG if I have to do this much explaining I think I will juat go wash clothes and pick pecans with the kids...
  9. by   caroladybelle
    No one is saying that it applies to ALL cases.

    But this idea that the public has (and many have it) that ALL of the perpetrators of this violence or even the majority are somehow not in their right mind or that merely being present in the hospital means that they are stressed unduly, and should be excused from criminal behavior because of it, is simply not true.

    Most people confronted by police are under stress at that time. However, if they assault an onduty officer, they will be charged. If they have dementia or overwhelming psych issues, they may have to get treatment but will be not guilty d/t that mental issue.

    What many of us ask is the same protection for nurses. And if the perpetrator of violence is found not guilty d/t mental disease or defect, this tends to require that they receive treatment and may push many into getting the treatment that they need.

    If we perpetually let these things go, those that need treatment rarely get it and those that are violent without mental issues, take it as a free pass to beat up on health care providers.

    As matter of note, even for overly "stressed" individuals or those with dementia that have violent tendencies, many will choose to act out on some individuals and not others. Picking out those that are less likely to defend themselves.
  10. by   caroladybelle
    The other issue, is that these articles often focus on the ER. And the public responds with, "what did you expect with working in the ER?". First, this violence occurs all over the hospital, not just the ER. Second, does anyone ever tell police, well, you were working in a bad should just expect this treatment and shut up and take it? You should work the good neighborhoods only.
  11. by   lrobinson5
    I think it is important to keep in mind that you have to want the person to get arrested before it happens. Just like when someone shoplifts, they may, or may not, call the police to handle the situation.