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Could the police learn something from nurses?

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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.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

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.

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

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!

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.

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".

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.

K+MgSO4, BSN

Specializes in Surgical, quality,management. Has 12 years experience.

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

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

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.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 42 years experience.

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.

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.

pixierose, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, psych. Has 4 years experience.

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.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

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.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

I think it is tough to compare the tough especially because the resources we have at hand versus the resources they have at hand when dealing with a violent person are different. But ultimately if it could improve outcomes to learn from nursing, then I'm all for it.

I fully and actively support the BLM movement, AND I support the police force. I completely agree with TriciaJ in that the issue can usually come down to either an issue with vetting, training, or oversight.

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

I work in an FQHC and patients are often inebriated and/or just very angry. Sometimes they yell and curse. If I responded with: “HEY. HEY SIR. You will NOT talk to me like that. Get down! Sir, I am in charge here” I guarantee you that it would escalate to violence weekly, if not daily. That is NOT how you handle someone who is verging on losing control. And yet most of the times that I’ve seen a police officer interact with the public (I’m not talking about the selective videos that get posted online. I’m talking about watching local police do crowd control at last years’s Independence Day parade; or telling local boaters that they need to wear life jackets; or telling city residents where to park their cars; etc) that is how it goes. Escalate escalate escalate. Chest out, hand on gun, voice raised and barking. And then everyone is shocked when the situation spirals.

And yes occasionally you meet a nurse with “the attitude” as well and it’s terrible. But most of us are better trained than that.

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

On 5/29/2020 at 10:03 PM, Davey Do said:

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.

This is so good to hear. It gives me hope.

Yeah they could if we have to have a license to practice nursing they should so need to get licensure and under go more extensive training and take a national exam to be an officer.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

One issue that is under-recognized is the role that the police UNIONS play when tragic situations arise. The unions seem to always (?) support the officer's actions. And the officers obtain the best-est legal support avail. (AT whose expense?)

From the time that an incident occurs, the officers seem 'protected' and accorded treatment not usually afforded perpetrators of similar occurrences.

I'm floored by the detail that the officer in GF's case had 18, yes, eighteen, write-ups over his career. How many of us could have 18 write-ups and still be practicing? Something's just not right there!

It is pathetically sad that the honorable police enforcement community as a whole suffers a black eye as a result of the behaviors of the rogue cops out there. It casts such a pale on the reputation of the profession. The general public jumps all over the rogue nurse, but employers and respective professional boards are usually there to intervene in many instances BEFORE the behaviors become so contrary to acceptable standards of practice.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

I think it would be a little bit arrogant for us nurses to think we know what LEOs go through on a day-to-day basis every day. We do get a little bit of it here and there but that doesnt compare to the constant threat to life that they face not knowing which call could prove deadly for them. They are trained but just like any other profession there will always be good and bad individuals. Of course in the case of Mr Floyd everything should be investigated including the dept/management to find out if this was a rogue cop/s or a dept problem. Unfortunetly I am not sure any amount of training would have helped because this seems to be an issue of these particular cops not even having an ounce of humanity. There is no excuse for what happened to George Floyd!