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Assault on unit


I am just starting on a child/adol unit and have a question. We have one patient who in the two days I was there assaulted two patients ( two separate occasions--police called and came) and fled the unit (another occasion and sceurity was called to get him back on the unit). Do you all keep this type of patient on your unit? I am fine with this during the day when there are a million staff around but worry since I will be working weekend evenings with much fewer resources. We do have security available at the push of a button but a lot can happen in just a very few seconds. Thoughts please??



Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Do you all keep this type of patient on your unit?

Yeah unless there is sexual assault we can't just 'get rid of them'. ;) I have found that the kids are more combative than adults and fights happen nearly every day. I'm surprised the police were called to the unit. What exactly did they do? Good luck.

wonderbee, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care; community health; psych.

Unfortunately the facility I worked for takes patients, adult and otherwise, who are more appropriate for forensic units. Even after multiple assaults, sometimes putting staff out of work for weeks and frightening other patients, these individuals are not carted off to jail. I'm talking about the punks, not the severely psychotic. They have evaded the legal system and wound up in the mental health system instead but they belong in jail.

No one presses charges. If someone does, especially a staff member, they are bullied out of it by management.

Is it greed that keeps them there?

I pity the poor nonviolent patients who have to be locked away with the punks. I just don't know how they are to get well in an atmosphere of fear.

In recent days I left the locked units for a job in public health and am grateful to be leaving in one piece. I've had enough.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

We occasionally have assaultive patients, and when we do we keep the tabs tight: they're either on 1:1 or line of sight, we'll encourage the PRNs, and/or we'll get orders for them to take up temporary residence in the seclusion room (not being secluded, but to let them have a room to themselves so they don't get into it with others where we can't see, and where we can keep a close eye on them).

But being a private facility, we don't have to take every patient that comes our way, nor do we have to keep them if they're uncontrollable.

This particular patient assaulted two different patients. The police came to basically file a report from what I understand since the patients families wanted to press charges. I was told they could not take the patient into custody unless it was a felony assault. Thank you all for your input!!