Violence in ER a growing problem

  1. 6
    Nurses statewide fearful of attacks


    Stephanie Embrey has handled her share of screaming and pushy patients in the emergency room. But the Beverly Hospital ER nurse says an assault in September, when she was belted in the chest by an agitated woman, has left her shaken.

    It took four staff members to subdue the woman, who also bit a security guard, said Embrey. Hospital officials confirmed the incident.

    Embrey - who remains passionate about her job on the front line of healthcare - has joined a growing chorus of nurses statewide who say they are fed up with being punched, kicked, and bitten on the job.

    With more patients flocking to emergency rooms and ER waiting times growing, the Massachusetts Nurses Association says its members are fending off an increasing number of aggressive patients, as well as their frustrated family members.

    "I've had it," said Sheila Wilson, a registered nurse who has worked in the emergency room at Caritas Carney Hospital in Dorchester for 15 years. She said there were at least three serious assaults by patients on ER staff over the past two months, and those incidents prompted her to speak publicly about the violence problem.

    Read the full Story here:
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...owing_problem/
    Atheos, Mobeeb, herring_RN, and 3 others like this.
  2. 2,372 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    Quote from brian
    Nurses statewide fearful of attacks


    Stephanie Embrey has handled her share of screaming and pushy patients in the emergency room. But the Beverly Hospital ER nurse says an assault in September, when she was belted in the chest by an agitated woman, has left her shaken.

    It took four staff members to subdue the woman, who also bit a security guard, said Embrey. Hospital officials confirmed the incident.

    Embrey - who remains passionate about her job on the front line of healthcare - has joined a growing chorus of nurses statewide who say they are fed up with being punched, kicked, and bitten on the job.

    With more patients flocking to emergency rooms and ER waiting times growing, the Massachusetts Nurses Association says its members are fending off an increasing number of aggressive patients, as well as their frustrated family members.

    "I've had it," said Sheila Wilson, a registered nurse who has worked in the emergency room at Caritas Carney Hospital in Dorchester for 15 years. She said there were at least three serious assaults by patients on ER staff over the past two months, and those incidents prompted her to speak publicly about the violence problem.

    Read the full Story here:
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...owing_problem/
    As usual, the hospitals' responses and solutions, are, as we say in Brooklyn, about as useful as tits on a bull. Report the perpetrators to the police and press charges. You might even consider placing a sign in the ER that states that the police will be called for any assault or out of contrl behavior, committed by a patient, or accompanying family member/friend. And charges will be pressed. That is the only way that you will get control back in the ER.

    I don't care what anyones' excuse is for acting out. The fact of the matter is, that nurses are the targets 99% of the time. And administration does nothing but make excuses and threatens the victims of these assaults. And figures out ways cheat these victims of deserved workmans comp pay and benefits. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    Drysolong, Pipsqueak, lananp, and 3 others like this.
  5. 6
    While the beancounters remain in control of healthcare and seem to be concerned more for the "customers" than their employees, the violence will continue to go unchallenged by management. Our society has become infected with a "fast food mentality". One of the reader comments stated "The problem with the world today is we are living in a "have it your way/drive through society." This is true. If they don't get it their way, then it's our fault. Most of the violence in our ED comes when folks don't get their narcotics. Maybe we could resolve this problem if we just put Percocet/MS Contin, etc., vending machines in the waiting room. LOL.
    Drysolong, gonzo1, lananp, and 3 others like this.
  6. 4
    Quote from Mobeeb
    While the beancounters remain in control of healthcare and seem to be concerned more for the "customers" than their employees, the violence will continue to go unchallenged by management. Our society has become infected with a "fast food mentality". One of the reader comments stated "The problem with the world today is we are living in a "have it your way/drive through society." This is true. If they don't get it their way, then it's our fault. Most of the violence in our ED comes when folks don't get their narcotics. Maybe we could resolve this problem if we just put Percocet/MS Contin, etc., vending machines in the waiting room. LOL.
    I will say it again- call the police at the first sign of trouble, and don't be intimidated into not pressing charges. Press charges, call you local newspaper and 6:00 news. Better yet, have someone carry a small video camera, and when these out of control morons go off the deep end, record them in living color to show the media, law enforcement, and the law firm who defends the hospital. Sell the video the the media, including CNN. It ($$$$$), will support you until you get a nice settlement from the hospital. A picture is worth than a thousand words and complaints. To hell with Hippa!! Call you local labor board and complain, along with the State BON. Again, make alot of noise!! The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    Let the public know what is going on in their local hospitals, and how nurses are being abused. Make sure that they know that this kind of abuse drives nurses from the bedside. The public likes nurses and I am sure would be angry that you are being treated that way. No one respects a pushover. Make ALOT OF NOISE!!! And don't forget to call an employment attorney. If you can find a young one, just starting out, they may
    see this as an opportunity to get some notoriety for themselves, as an aggressive labor lawyer. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    fungez, squeakykitty, SecondGenRN, and 1 other like this.
  7. 0
    i think that a lot of this can be traced back to the ruling about the care of the mentally ill
    they are tossed out onto the streets until their physical health and mental health has bottomed out
    waiting for hours on end when you are in pain is a horrid experience for those who have it all together..if you have mental problems it is an open invitation for aggression to the first person they see, mainly an overworked nurse who does not have any way of solving the situation
    failure to address this situation will be the cause of nurses leaving er
  8. 2
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    i think that a lot of this can be traced back to the ruling about the care of the mentally ill
    they are tossed out onto the streets until their physical health and mental health has bottomed out
    waiting for hours on end when you are in pain is a horrid experience for those who have it all together..if you have mental problems it is an open invitation for aggression to the first person they see, mainly an overworked nurse who does not have any way of solving the situation
    failure to address this situation will be the cause of nurses leaving er
    Then when arrested the person who injures or hurts a ER nurse or other hospital personnel claims mental illness they have a built in excuse.

    Rj
    Mobeeb and lindarn like this.
  9. 4
    Where I work, violence, disorderly conduct, and other crimes are not tolerated. More than just a few have received a ride to jail for their "acting out". The word on the street travels quickly, and the problems diminish after just one malefactor leaves the ER with bracelets.

    The original article mentions the Dorchester section of the Boston area. It used to be that area was known for all sorts of unsavory behavior, but it was left outside of the hospitals. Now, hospitals have become equivalent to the average street corner in most communities.
    Drysolong, lananp, squeakykitty, and 1 other like this.
  10. 2
    Our Emergency Room has installed nice new huge flatscreen tvs.
    There are a wealth of homeless and criminal types who have taken to congregating there to watch sports and tv, and to wait in a safe warm place while dealing drugs.

    Yes, you read it right.

    They can sit and watch tv, which are backed with large ceiling to floor windows. When they see their buyer approach the curb, it's no more than ten steps to the curb to "do the deal".

    Security seems to have no problem with this.
    The slackers/drug dealers get free coffee and there is a wealth of vending machines at hand.

    Afterall, security can't very well sort them out from the waiting patients who are there on an average 8 hrs!
    I guess they assume that the universal sign for "no weapons" (gun with a large red X through it) will do the job of keeping us safe.
    09S=BSN and lindarn like this.
  11. 2
    I agree, working on the West Side of Chicago can be tough. It is even scary sometimes just going out to your car, and people have been shot at on the way home. On a lighter note, though, one of my co-workers had suggested put an Ativan salt lick in the waiting room to calm things down. Someone at my other job (paramedic for Chicago Fire Dept.) had suggested putting Dilantin in one of those mosquito fogger trucks, and when the seizure call volumes got a little high because the Dilantin fairy had not magically dropped off meds at everyone's homes, just drive down the street with the Dilantin fogger. Just a suggestion....
    obxdrmn and blondegenes like this.
  12. 2
    Quote from Mobeeb
    While the beancounters remain in control of healthcare and seem to be concerned more for the "customers" than their employees, the violence will continue to go unchallenged by management. Our society has become infected with a "fast food mentality". One of the reader comments stated "The problem with the world today is we are living in a "have it your way/drive through society." This is true. If they don't get it their way, then it's our fault. Most of the violence in our ED comes when folks don't get their narcotics. Maybe we could resolve this problem if we just put Percocet/MS Contin, etc., vending machines in the waiting room. LOL.
    You don't seriously expect that the folks would willingly pay for their narcotics, do you? EDs would have to have an infinite supply of quarters to give out. :wink2:

    A bit more seriously, all health care employees should make it plain that each and every physical assault will be met with a police complaint and prosecution. For recalcitrant managements, that will require support from the rest of the staff, not just the victim.

    For various reasons, ranging from bleeding-heartism to political correctness to stupid management, we've excused increasing amounts of violence in most areas of society. It can only be surprising to complete idiots that the harvest is more violence.

    The word would quickly get around that smacking a nurse in the ED will get you arrested every time, and the number of incidents would rapidly decline. The people doing this aren't anywhere nearly as irrational as the ones excusing and overlooking it.
    Drysolong and lindarn like this.


Top