Violence against ER Nurses Remains High

  1. 3
    http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...-this-and-more

    For most of us, this is OLD news. And I'm sure we all realize that it's not just ER nurses that deal with violent patients - they're in every setting at the hospital. My question to all of you is:

    WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?

    Does your state protect you against the attack of a patient? Would your employer fire you if you were to defend yourself by fighting back? Is it possible to get legislation and administration to care about us?

    It's illegal to assault a police officer, the same should be true of any health care worker as well.

    I'm in the process of finding out these answers for my particular state and hospital!
    lindarn, hoopschick, and Skeletor like this.
  2. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  3. 1,658 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  4. 8 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    I don't work in the ER, but I work for a public inebriate program, and I have and will defend myself if necessary. I don't hit back, but I do get out of they way and barricade myself and stay away from that person. I can also file charges if it gets bad enough, but so far *knock on wood* that hasn't happened.
    lindarn likes this.
  6. 2
    Quote from tachy
    http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...-this-and-more

    For most of us, this is OLD news. And I'm sure we all realize that it's not just ER nurses that deal with violent patients - they're in every setting at the hospital. My question to all of you is:

    WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?

    Does your state protect you against the attack of a patient? Would your employer fire you if you were to defend yourself by fighting back? Is it possible to get legislation and administration to care about us?

    It's illegal to assault a police officer, the same should be true of any health care worker as well.

    I'm in the process of finding out these answers for my particular state and hospital!
    It's illegal to assault anyone, anywhere. But some health care facilities, and distressingly, some health care workers themselves, rationalize patients' behavior to such an extent as to excuse criminal behavior.

    It's unacceptable.
    lindarn and MassED like this.
  7. 2
    Our ED docs will medicate to prevent violence if they believe there is a potential problem. Our ED physician director is the one who initiated the conversation topic. He dared anyone who questioned him to take him in front of the ethics committee. The hospital is behind him 100%, until that first lawsuit.

    I've been swung at, kicked at, bitten. I have no problem pushing geodon or haldol or ativan to save my pretty face.
    qcc2011grad and lindarn like this.
  8. 1
    it is illegal to assault a HCW. Patients will be arrested and prosecuted, provided they're not mentally ill/intoxicated/otherwise mentally incapacitated. It does happen, will continue to happen, and we, as hcw, need to prosecute those that assault. Being in an ER does not give a patient a FREE pass to do whatever they want. I don't tolerate any of that, and never will. I let abusive (verbally or physically) patients know that I will call the police and they will be arrested.

    I find that USUALLY, because we're keepers of the narcs, we get those unsavory characters that are within walking distance of the ER, who demand their particular poison. If and when they don't get it, things get hairy. THOSE are the ones that create 99% of the problems. They are the ones that are frequent fliers, seen most days by most nurses, so we know their behaviors and need to not give in (the docs ordering need not give in) and set limits, very specific limits. Firm, specific limits. Forget all the sweet/lovey nursey attitude, because that does not help or work with these types. Some nurses think a nurse who has the attitude of "you attract more bees with honey" really needs to get a clue. Manipulative behavior responds to nothing better than realistic, honest, firm boundaries and expectations. Anything less is hurtful to our ER nursing world.
    Last edit by MassED on Nov 11, '11
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from SweettartRN
    I don't work in the ER, but I work for a public inebriate program, and I have and will defend myself if necessary. I don't hit back, but I do get out of they way and barricade myself and stay away from that person. I can also file charges if it gets bad enough, but so far *knock on wood* that hasn't happened.
    MOAB is in use in most ER's - taking down or controlling a person without harming - more using restraint techniques for controlling harmful behaviors. Though, when push comes to shove, I will protect myself first and foremost, as well as my coworkers.

    You always keep your exit nearest to you - never let a patient get between you and an exit.

    Never BARRICADE yourself. Think of your safety first, then the patient. If you have to, barricade that person, then gather your team of people to provide a strategic take down. Research M.O.A.B. - law enforcement created this eons ago.
    lindarn likes this.
  10. 2
    Quote from MassED
    MOAB is in use in most ER's - taking down or controlling a person without harming - more using restraint techniques for controlling harmful behaviors. Though, when push comes to shove, I will protect myself first and foremost, as well as my coworkers.

    You always keep your exit nearest to you - never let a patient get between you and an exit.

    Never BARRICADE yourself. Think of your safety first, then the patient. If you have to, barricade that person, then gather your team of people to provide a strategic take down. Research M.O.A.B. - law enforcement created this eons ago.

    When I say barricade, I go behind a locked door and hit the panic button for assistance. Usually we are alone on shift, and we have staff that can come help at a moment's notice. Sorry. Should have clarified that.
    MassED and lindarn like this.
  11. 1
    It is sad that the nurse in the article was fired after refusing to drop charges against her attacker.
    SweettartRN likes this.
  12. 1
    Quote from lrobinson5
    It is sad that the nurse in the article was fired after refusing to drop charges against her attacker.
    there'd be a lawsuit creeping up on the facility if they fired me..... I'd call Gloria Alred!! haaa!

    Probably more to the story - didn't read it all, but maybe this person had a mental incapacitation and wasn't clear thinking...
    SweettartRN likes this.


Top