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Could the police learn something from nurses?

Nurses   (3,861 Views | 83 Replies)

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On how to safely deal with a violent or even non violent person.  Of course I do realize that in public there are weapons involved, however I do believe that they can learn something from nurses.  Not to mention that nurses have to deal with potential weapons too.

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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Police agencies actually know how to deal with violent persons.  All police administrations have 3 areas of responsibility:  1.  Proper vetting in the hiring process  2.  Proper training  3.  Proper oversight.

In-custody deaths can usually be attributed to any of the above.  Sloppy hiring practices allow personnel on the force who should not be.  Poor training leaves the officers and the public vulnerable.  Poor oversight means problems don't get addressed until someone ends up killed.

The police actually have evidence-based knowledge of how to safely restrain people and avoid in-custody deaths.  When P&P is not adhered to or enforced, the results can be tragic.  Just like in the Vanderbilt Hospital situation.  Luckily no one showed up to loot and riot when it was a nurse involved.

 

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LibraNurse27 has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown.

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I have respect for police and the dangerous work they have to do... up against people with guns, etc. I have NO respect for police who shoot black people for just being alive.

I think about how we respond to similar situations of violent people due to psychosis, or substances (or some alert and oriented!) without using weapons. We use meds, restraints and de-escalation. My city is creating a mental health emergency response team for mental health emergencies which make up 30% of 911 calls in our area. This is after the cops shot a black man in a store who had psychosis and was swinging a plastic bat at things he was seeing. Not at anyone.

They screamed at him which agitated him more, tased him twice, he was unconscious on the floor, then they shot him in the back... for no reason. He was bleeding onto the ground. Instead of calling medical or doing BLS they handcuffed him facedown, wasting precious minutes. He died. All he needed was de-escalation, some IM meds, and possibly restraints, then 5150 and stay in psych ward. He could have left stable. It said when not manic he had a job, was a great dad. 31 yrs old. Same diagnosis as me but I know if I become manic the cops won't shoot me since I'm a small white girl... SO unfair. 

I want to join this team. Show them how I can take people down with no weapons, even big men!

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It has not been evident, since the availability of cell phone video, that police believe that they have anything to learn or change.  They are occasionally forced to talk about racism and violence after they kill someone accidently on purpose...but not always.  And there isn't much evidence that anything has changed...oh except that it's not OK for black people to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police violence, that's now akin to un-American displays or something...that's new. 

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199 Posts; 5,090 Profile Views

Whenever we have to deal with a patient who has an outburst, I always think to myself "thank God this person is not doing this in public".

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199 Posts; 5,090 Profile Views

Once some guy was swinging the pole from a mop head around (they were waxing the floor). The situation was resolved, and believe he was placed weeks later.  

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K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

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@LibraNurse27 check out the PACER model in Australia.  It is also in parts of the UK. 

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

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Just like there are rogue, burnt-out nurses, who stay in the job because they are economically trapped, so it is with cops. 

Humans are unpredictable, and sometimes they snap. It happened to me the other day in the Sprint store. there were just too many stressors.

I found most cops are reasonable people.

 

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Davey Do has 41 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

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It is sad to hear of situations where any person is abused by professionals due to ignorance, misconceptions, or biasness.

We as professionals in certain specialties need to show a better way to  those who act on a negatively subjective belief system or power play.

I have been very lucky to have worked with law enforcement officials who allowed me to take the lead in such situations. As a psychiatric community nurse, police officers I worked with would allow a report and plan before acting in a crisis situation.

As a first responder in medical trauma situations, the police responded in a similar manner.

I am sorry others have had to experience and deal with the ramifications of some incompetent professionals.

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1,275 Posts; 8,265 Profile Views

So, are we going to allow the police to inject IM meds to calm patients?  Because let’s be honest, that’s what we do.  Ativan, Valium, precedex, Giodan.....  

Do you know how many times I get report when I see a patient has been intubated due to agitation?  Whether it’s in the field or the ER.  It happens frequently.

But let’s not pretend that what we face is what the police face.  Not even close.    And I just spent 12 hours with a detoxing alcoholic.  
 

 

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pixierose has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ED, psych.

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I’ve been witness to and have intervened with security responses that have been highly aggressive with patient behaviors.

In one particular incident, the security officer didn’t even “see” me; he didn’t “see” anyone trying to intervene.  No logical thought process; just action that was highly detrimental to the patient. I was practically on his back trying to get him to stop along with others - this was in a behavioral peds ED. 6’4 guy, maybe 230 lbs, with an 11 y.o. Girl - 100 lbs with sass. He lost it. 

But I’ve worked with incredible security guards and police who, like Davey, allowed me to take the lead. Or who have understood mental illness, or patient frustration, and the calm voice comes up ... and a connection develops. 

But if we’re talking about what’s happening across the country? I’m a little White girl who can check her privilege. No level of us nurses showing the police how it’s done will do a damn bit of good. 3 POC have died of violent means over the last 2-3 months ... AGAIN. Here we are, 2020, and we’re nearly in the same place we were 100 years ago. 

As nurses? Keep protecting those who can’t protect themselves, speak for those who can’t speak for themselves ... both in and out of the community. 

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Hoosier_RN has 27 years experience as a MSN and specializes in dialysis.

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On 5/29/2020 at 8:12 PM, DesiDani said:

Whenever we have to deal with a patient who has an outburst, I always think to myself "thank God this person is not doing this in public".

Sometimes they are, it depends on your work setting.

Not all nurses are perfect at diffusing dangerous situations either. Personalities vary. Some entities are using dangerous chemicals that puts the general public, nurses included, in danger. 

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