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!
Nov 11, '11
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