A patient pulled a knife on me today.


Wow. I'm still shaking. At the LTC where I work, we have a short-term physical rehabilitation wing. One of our newer patients is suffering from dementia, and became violent this morning so I was called into a room. Next thing I know, he had grabbed a knife he had hidden in a bathcloth on his dresser. Thank God I was able to grab his wrist and pry his fingers from it. We don't have panic buttons or security here. I keep thinking about what might have happened. I still have the knife on the desk next to me (I'm in my office) and I have called my DON to see what to do.

What would the protocol be where you work?

I need to look into receiving combat pay. :angryfire


1,804 Posts

I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. I am glad you weren't physically hurt. Take care. Hopefully they will get you a system in place so that you could get help in the room right away. How awful that a patient attacked you. When I saw the thread title for sure, I thought it was in the hospital, not in LTC. Pretty scary this guy was hiding a knife in his room. We have security. We all carry portable phones. We attend a class in non-violent conflict resolution and tactics. I can't think of the name. They show us how to get loose from things like choke holds, hair pulls,what to do if cornered, etc. I work in OB!. Maybe a bigger facility near yours has this and your staff could attend.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,232 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

So sorry this happened to you. How unsettling!

It sounds as though this pt isn't in the appropriate facility and isn't medicated properly. He needs to be evaluated at a mental health facility and promptly.


955 Posts

I just got off the phone with his son, who is on the way up. I've instructed my staff to leave him alone until his son arrives. My DON will talk with him when he gets here, I've documented the incident extensively and as a result he will most likely be sent to a behavior management unit (read psych ward) before the end of the day.

Whew. I need a drink or a hug or a cigarette or preferably all three.

sanctuary, BSN, MSN, RN

1 Article; 467 Posts

Specializes in pure and simple psych. Has 45 years experience.

:bow: :icon_hug: Wow. So happy that you were able to be safe. Glad that you were quick witted enough to get it away from him. Not much you can do against the demented resident, but boy, would I have the aide's hide who logged hime in, and didn't find the knife. Of course, I'm presuming that there is a proceedure to check in property on admission. If not, should there be???

Have a glass of wine, and a big HUG from me.

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

3,734 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

When I first read the title, I was thinking....LTC. This happened to me....twice! First time it wasn't too worried about the threat and just said in a stern voice "You put that down RIGHT now!" Luckily they did. Can't remember what happened, just that this pt only got plastic utensils and stryro plates and had to be supervised for meals....family was very embarrassed and apoligetic (I was prego at the time)

Second incident...I was a little frightened, res was a paraniod schizophrenic and had the strenght of a whole football team. I yelled my butt off for help at PT aid came in the room and saved my butt by acting like this guy superior in the army (the pt was in the military and so was the PT aid) for some odd reason that worked. This pt has a history of these outbreaks and we were fighting woth administration to get this person 302'd for our benifit and his.....well he got 302'd and had a major restructuring of his medication regieme. Came back to our facility with better control of his illness.

Sooo....is a psyche consult been done? CP been revised..monitor his meals, plastic utensils, maybe a room search prn? or were you thinking more of should the police be notified?

Specializes in ICU, CCU, Trauma, neuro, Geriatrics. Has 16 years experience.

First thing I would do after I stopped shaking would be to start 302 commitment proceedings.

Violence is never acceptable, even if you are demented.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.

WOW SO sorry this happened to you. You received some excellent advice. SOunds like the guy does not belong in your facility. I am glad you are ok----but you must be shaken. Make sure to take care of yourself.


140 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg; Critical Care/ ED. Has 7 years experience.

I think they should give you a few mental health days! :angryfire

Specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, LTC. Has 23 years experience.
I think they should give you a few mental health days! :angryfire

Make that PAID mental health days, and not having to use your own time.


Whew. I need a drink or a hug or a cigarette or preferably all three.

Holy cow! Im so glad you are safe. Paid mental health day with all the drinks, hugs and cigarettes you can stand!!!


1,987 Posts

Oh wow... *hugs* from me, and I hope that you are able to take care of yourself. I'm so sorry this happened to you, I'm glad that you were able to get the knife away from him. Here's hoping that he'll get to the appropriate facility soon.

Take care, OK?

This topic is now closed to further replies.