Hello. I'm a BSN nursing student currently in my senior year of nursing school. On the weekends and during the summer, I work at the local hospital as a tech. Well, one day during the summer I was sitting in observation with a confused patient. The patient was extremely unsteady on his feet but still wanted to walk around, but wouldn't accept my help. He also couldn't speak English. While trying to get into a chair, he swayed one way dangerously and I tried to help him. He thanked me by punching me several times hard in the stomach and across the face. Somehow, my yells for help made no one come, and I managed to get him in the chair before everyone did come minutes afterward.
Now, I'm afraid of patients entirely. Even the alert, oriented and completely kind ones. It even terrifies me more that I'm going to become a nurse and handle more patients like him, because my hospital loves to ignore unstable patients and requests from nurses for more help. It scares me that now I'm scared of a profession I used to absolutely love. It angers me more though that I nor my fellow students are being made aware of the high prevalence of violence against nurses, and the stigma that follows with those who try to report the incidents.
Basically, I want advice. No, need it is more likely. Is there any hope anymore of me becoming a nurse? How have your hospital tried to fight this problem?
I'm so sorry you went through this. This might sound like over kill, but you might want to talk to a therapist about your attack. I say that because I had a problem with trauma / being hurt at work and it really affected me adversely-- emptionally. Ive learned to keep myself physically safe at work, but mental hurt required a different kind of self preservation.
In the certain settings I feel much safer in many ways, than I did in others.
In my preferred work environment, where I feel safe, we have security teams, code grey alarms, poseys, soft restraints, respect from other staff who help as needed, I stay out of arms reach, am kind but assertive. These things help. I also try to get a full history or look for evidence of prior violence, so I can be prepared.
I have colleagues who stay between door and patient, rather than placing the patient between themself and the door.
Last edit by vintagemother on Oct 16, '12