Violence against nurses - page 3

by sanctuary 8,699 Views | 21 Comments

I am working to get a piece of legislation passed in Oregon that would permit nurses who are assaulted in the line of duty to press charges against the perpetrator, even if they are a patient. There are ER nurses who have been... Read More


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    You must ask yourself what the risk is when entering into a particular field. If you become a firefighter, you may be required to enter a burning building as others run out! If you join the military, you may need to fire a gun at someone who is firing back. If you decide to work in the field of acute care psychiatry, you may consider that a person sufferring from mental illness, may become aggressive or violent, and direct that hostility towards you. Your best bet for safety is to choose a profession or area of your profession which does not have a high probability of being assaulted. (Acute care psychiatry is second next to law enforcement for most assaults) I have been the victim of patient violence, however I also realized the risk of the profession when entering the field. This does not cover the topics of ongoing violence prevention training, adequate staffing, and proactive management, safety officers, good risk assessments on admission, etc. Unlike criminal activity which may have intent to harm, someone who is hallucinating or delusional may not have the cognitive ability to function like you or I. With this in mind, you need a good understanding of the scope of your practice, and ultimately a good understanding of your limitations. My goal is to assist those with mental illness to return to the community in a better state than on admission. When going to work I know there is a risk that someone may assault me. I take all the precautions I can to ensure the safety of the patients and myself. However, the job is not meant for everyone, just like firefighting! Thank God for all those who do the jobs no one else will, enjoy them, and help others.
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    I am not a nurse, I work as a CNA.
    I had my share of violence from patients who were either mentally incapable or older people whose judgment was questionable.
    Two Chrismases ago, I was "kidnapped and assaulted"(by the standards of the world outside of the realm of a nursing home) in a bathroom by elderly lady. It took two people to get her off me.
    Do I think she should go to jail? NO. I don't think that elderly, frail, and incontinent people would fit very well in the prison population.
    Most of my co-workers are in agreement that people who are violent need to be medicated and their symptoms managed.
    Thank you for bringing up this issue. Most people don't suspect what staff has to go trough in the locked/psych units.


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