charging pts with assault

  1. I want to know what others psych nurse's views are in regards to charging patients who assault staff. Do you think that charging a patient who assaults you will achieve anything? What policies and procedures apply in regards to this where you work. I'd really like to know others opinions as where I work I get mixed messsages and assume it comes down to personal choice in charging the patient.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   donmurray
    Have a look at the thread on "Should psych patients be held accountable" Cheers!
  4. by   Mike-CPN-UK
    Hi,

    In the UK managers in my experience try to put staff off from making complaints to the police about assaults or threats of violence on staff members. I once went out with a girl who worked in day care and was regularly threatened by an ex-patient. He would threaten to cut her face which she found very frightening. The managers did nothing so I called the police. They arrested him and said if it happened again they would charge him with something pretty serious. He never rang up again!

    It doesn't matter what policies are available, it's the individual's choice.

    Mike
  5. by   the new girl
    I had a adolescent female with a conduct disorder, attack me while she was in rotation ( in full belt restraints) and almost strangled me. It took 6 staff to free me from her. She stood trial as an adult and because I am a liscensed healthcare professional, the charges were more severe, and she sat in jail for a year. I live in Iowa, USA
  6. by   l.rae
    Good for you Newgirl...it's about time we stand up for ourselves.....l work ER and this is a problem here too....glad you are ok...LR
  7. by   bubby
    as a psych nurse for the past 7 years in an adult acute admission unit in Australia, I have witnessed many violent attacks on nurses. In australia the only physical restraints we can use is " man power". I would have absolutely NO hesitation in charging a patient whom was voluntary or knew exactly what they were doing and I would always encourage my co workers to do the same. We are entitled to work in a safe working environment free from violence. we do not get paid enough to be assualted. Also the way that i look at it is that if one of these people assualted a member of the public or the police, regardless of their illness they would be charged. Do not let anyone discourage you from filing charges...
  8. by   misseymac
    thankyou all for your messages!
  9. by   mumseyllama
    I work in VT and our administrators are very supportive in charging patients who physically assault our staff. Manypatients feel the have free license to any behavoirs when on a psych unit. This sets very firm limits.
    One night a woman going into restraints bit a security officer helping in the restraint. An hour later the police delivered a summons to her on the unit while she was still in restraints. There is justice!
  10. by   albymangel
    Hi buddy, just a question not related to thread. I am am nearly finished 2nd year at UNI doing Nursing, and thinking os going inot Mental health as I did a 4 week placement in this area and loved in.
    Whats your opinion on going straight in as a newgrad or do you think its better to do my newgrad year in the general area Med/Surg.
    I am studying in Australia, and live on the central coast.
    regards Alby


    Quote from bubby
    as a psych nurse for the past 7 years in an adult acute admission unit in Australia, I have witnessed many violent attacks on nurses. In australia the only physical restraints we can use is " man power". I would have absolutely NO hesitation in charging a patient whom was voluntary or knew exactly what they were doing and I would always encourage my co workers to do the same. We are entitled to work in a safe working environment free from violence. we do not get paid enough to be assualted. Also the way that i look at it is that if one of these people assualted a member of the public or the police, regardless of their illness they would be charged. Do not let anyone discourage you from filing charges...
  11. by   Katnip
    Hospital policies and procedures cannot supercede the law. You, as an individual have the right to press charges, no matter what your administration may say.
  12. by   PRNMEDS
    At the hospital where I work it is up to the individual. As a nurse we are discouraged from pressing charges (unless very very severe attack). The MHA's (Mental Health Assistants) are usualy not persuaded one way or another. It seems to depend on severity of attack, and patients mental capacity. If very psychotic or delusional then less likely to charge since not really in control.
  13. by   Eviene
    I didn't report an elated patient who threatened to kill me, but we've had a cultural change on my ward now and are more willing to press charges, but there doesn't seem to be much support from management. I think nurses would feel safer if trusts pressed charges automatically. It's important to do so as if a conviction isn't guaranteed, at least a forensic history will accumulate.
  14. by   CounselorLou
    We had a "psychotic" patient attack a staff member, from behind, at night and beat him so bad that the staff member died a couple of days later. Initially the administration did not approve of charging the patient with assault, but after the death they changed their minds (I hope for the right reasons). Until this attack we have had many such incidents, but (luckily) none as serious. The patient is now in jail and is awaiting to be tried for the death. Ours is a very good unit, where the patients get excellant care and treatment. This incident just goes to show that you MUST always be aware of what is going on around you.

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