Visitor Assaults ER RN - page 3

What would you do? A visitor of a patient in the ER assaults an RN without being provoked. What should that ER RN do?... Read More

  1. by   CEN35
    Won't be the first time, won't be the last.............

    was punched in the chest, punched in the face, kicked in the balls, and threatened to be stabbed, and have my head blown off. Many in front of police.

    The hospital response, they are customers, and it's a trying time for them, try to understand.

  2. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from palmettorn
    the pt's daughter went ahead and punched me in the shoulder. she went for my face one time but missed. then hit my shoulder. i'm a big guy so i was not really hurt. police says it will be argued as a misdeameanor. this troubles me. i went to school in ca and i recall it was a felony to hit a nurse. yet, now i'm in ga and don't know the law. yet, i have to think if this person went up to a police officier, or a judge, and probably even a doctor, she would definitely be charged with a felony. i'm hoping there is not a double standard for us nurses. yet, i have worked in the criminal justice system in san francisco for ten years and have no illusions about truth and justice for all.
    i thank you for your support in this area
    a couple of years ago, a patient's son assaulted two travelers in the icu i was working in in seattle. he dragged the (male) rn who was caring for his father out of the room and dragged a passing (female) rn into the room, then barricaded the door shut so that the patient's nurse couldn't get in and the other nurse couldn't get out. he didn't want "no *** taking care of my pa!" during this assault, he had a german shepherd dog (he had insisted to security that this was a service dog -- no harness or even collar, just a chain wrapped around the dog's neck and the other end of the chain wrapped around his fist) with him. the male nurse said the dog (snarling and barking) scared him as much as the visitor! security came, the police were called and the visitor was arrested and went to jail.

    about this time, the visitor's mother (the patient's wife) started insisting that the hospital drop the charges against her precious son because he was merely understandably upset about seeing his father so ill. (standard post-op cabg, sitting in the chair, eating dinner.) our manager explained that the hospital couldn't drop the charges since the hospital hadn't pressed charges. the female traveler (who, in my opinion had it much worse, being barricaded inside the room with this nutcase!) didn't press charges and continued to come to work as usual. the male pressed charges and then claimed that he was too traumatized to come to work anymore. the hospital bought out the rest of his contract. he stayed in seattle and played for the rest of his 13 weeks. the female nurse kept on working.
    [color=#4b0082]the moral of that story, i guess, is press charges. you don't get anywhere by backing down, and the male traveler got a real sweet deal for the rest of his 13 weeks. i have no idea what his agency had to say about any of this, though.
    [color=#4b0082]and the visitor got out of jail and resumed visiting, although his dog wasn't allowed into the icu again.
    Had one of our frequent fliers in ER last night. Teen girl with pseudoseizures, always has one at a crowded sporting event (lots of attention). I am the night shift charge nurse.

    Brought to ER by EMS (as usual) with parents and a "friend of the family who has been through so much with her".

    I asked the friend to leave as we have a 2 visitor policy and both parents were already there.

    She proceeded to get into my face and tell me how rude I was and that she has "special permission" to be with the patient.

    I again calmly asked her to leave, more verbal harrassment, leave now or else security and police would be called.

    She left, told all staff that I was an "***" and never came back.

    Wished she would have hit me, lawsuit city.
  4. by   allmons
    Federal OSHA ( and often State versions of OSHA ) REQUIRE employers to provide a safe work place. I would contact OSHA and Georgia's State version of Workplace safety as well as file a civil lawsuit against the daughter.

    You probably should file a civil suit against the hospital for not providing you physical protection. I would name the hospital, the hospital Board of Directors, and each board member individually in that suit.

    Every time a nurse is assaulted on the job, he/she should sue the person, the hospital and the hospital board. If the financial stakes become prohibitive, the hospitals will have to clean up their acts and protect us!

    Nothing like financial smack-downs to get administrators' attention!