Dealing with a patient who verbally threatens you - page 5

Im not a nurse (yet), but I work as a phlebotomist, and I only have about 3 weeks TOTAL experience working in a hospital. Im 24/m and I look 16 ( in the face and in the body 6'0'’ 150 lbs) and it... Read More

  1. by   Agnus
    I back off as well. A threat should be taken seriously. Yes indeed this was abusive behavior on the part of the patient. Being ill, injured, in pain does not give anyone the right to abuse the very person who is there to help.

    I have let patients know that I will not accept abuse nor will I allow them to abuse anyone else in my presence or while under my care. If they choose to then I an who ever else they abuse will walk out of the room and they will be without care. If they are sane and not on drugs this usually works.

    However, in this case this person was not sane or acting sane in any way so the only think I would do is back off.

    As far as someone having to do it. Well the person MD or what ever who ordered it ultamately has the responsibility. So if the MD insist despite the pt. objection/threats/behavior then the MD will can order restraints mechanical or chemical, and security should always be called in these situations. Some times the mere presence of a couple or more security guards is enough to make the pt. behave.

    You can not be required to treat a patient who threatens you. The hospital has a responsiblity to provide a safe work enviorment. If you find your hospital unsupportive to you it is time to move on.
  2. by   swatch007
    Wishing that I don't have to deal with a violent pt.
    because I'm afraid more on the damage I could do, though not intentional I have to re- train myself to suppress my tendency (reflex) to punch and kick when I'm being attacked.

    I'm learning too from responses of fellow nurses here.
  3. by   casi
    You should talk to whoever is in charge of your department to find out how you can handle combative patients. Ask about tips and tricks, brushing them all off on the nursing department isn't going to teach you anything. You shouldn't <i>have</i> to take abuse, but if you work in health care there is good chance you'll end up having to deal with it.

    For your new example on 8/16 you were upset you weren't told that this person was a drug user. My guess is that HIPAA would restrict others from telling you this. His drug use really doesn't effect you drawing blood off of him. You were also upset that no one told you he was combative. Did other staff know that he was combative at this point? Someone has to find out a patient is combative the hard way first. Maybe it was your lucky day to make this discovery.

    When you know a patient is combative, find a big intimidating looking staff member and have them stand in the room with you. This can sometimes help.
    Last edit by casi on Aug 20, '06
  4. by   twotrees2
    Quote from StNeotser
    So, can I ask the posters who thought it was OK to have the man refuse (and that is his right) what they thought would happen next?

    When we have people like this normally a nurse or someone else will go in with the phlebotomist or attempt to do the draw. If they still behave in the same manner or get more aggressive despite calming techniques we say OK, and chart refused. When you have someone threaten you and you switch assignments with someone else, why is it OK that person gets threatened for the rest of their shift?

    I'm not trying to be difficult here, I just want to know how it works where you are.
    dependent on the situation ( this guy does NOT sound like he meets the criteria ) such as an alzheimer's patient or other psych disorder - sometimes it can make a big difference in changing staff and the other staff would not be yelled at etc - many times on my alzheimer's resident we have to do this - kinda a good guy bad guy type scenario - the resident doesn't realize we know the other person isn't bad but they will do as we ask cause they think we are saving them from whatever their mind has drawn up about the other staff member. just a thought on it - though it di not sound like this man qualified for that as it sounds like he was of sound mind and body but a jerk - as the poster did - so would i - chart it as refused and not look back