Patient Bites Nurse's Fingertip Off - page 6

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A man who was arrested for biting off the tip of a nurse's finger spoke out about the incident Monday. Trent Taylor, 20, discussed his actions with NewsChannel 32's Allison... Read More

  1. by   BBFRN
    You know, when I did a Google search on workplace violence related to nurses, the only pages that came up were from Australia, UK, and Canada. I couldn't find on American hit with anything related to this problem, or legislature regarding it.
  2. by   SharonH, RN
    Laura, here is a website dedicated to the problem of workplace violence against nurses, I don't know why I didn't think of it before:

    Also, I contacted the center for nursing advocacy regarding this issue. Their mission is to protect the image of nurses in the media. Unfortunately, they are unable to get involved because there is pending legislation in this instance and they don't generally comment on those cases. But I still think their cause is a great one so check them out too:
  3. by   BBFRN
    Thanks, Sharon. Will do!
  4. by   FROGGYLEGS
    There was an article in Nursing magazine not too awful long ago dealing with workplace violence and particularly violence in the ED. I will see if I can't dig up the magazine; I keep all of the issues.
  5. by   FROGGYLEGS
    Originally posted by DARN MOM 128
    They took off the handcuffs and walked out of the room because she was a female and they were male and it would violate her privacy. You can guess what happened next. First chnace she got she attacked me.
    darn mom: I find this particularly interesting. Before becoming a nurse I worked for several years in the criminal justice field. Since becoming a nurse, I have also worked as a nurse within a prison.
    As security at an all male prison, one of my duties was to escort prisoners to medical for checkups, appts, etc. No matter how vehemently my presence was protested, I had to remain with the inmate at all time for security purposes. Frequently that meant that I was present when the men (I am female) had to undress in order to be examined. Quite often the inmates had c/o various things that involved their genitalia and therefore I saw it all. It would have been a serious infraction for me to leave an inmate unsupervised within the medical facility. Sometimes inmates were sent to hospitals and if you were assigned to go with them at least on member of the security team had to be present at all times regardless of what procedures the hospital staff needed to do.
    Now as a nurse at a prison, I was not allowed to be in contact with any inmate unless security was there. I can understand how this can impede upon their privacy, but the first rule when dealing with inmates is that all inmates are "the prisons inmates first and medical's patients second". I can't tell you how many times I've heard that speech.
    I can't say for sure that anything "wrong" was done by you being left alone with an inmate because regulations do vary. BUT I can not imagine their being too much leanience with this particular rule. I think that the police that brought that woman there and left you with her made a serious mistake, even if that is what you requested. It is not your job to know security guidelines; it is their job. Again, I firmly believe that they should have never left that woman unattended. I could be wrong, but I believe they were negligent in doing so.
  6. by   nowplayingEDRN
    Thank you gwenith and everyone else for the kind words in reference to my letter.....I am going to send a similar letter to the rival network. I am also going to check ou those LNC links and if there is a place to email, I can bet on that. I also want to point out that by the hospital making no comment, they are trying in a small way to protect their staff nurse. Saving any comment for the court room and the lawyers. I also agree that every available staff nurse that is not on duty should go to the court hearing and sit in determined silence, linked arm and arm to show that we are a profession of caring people that stick together and support one another, very much like other professions (i.e. policemen, firemen....) Just a s there is a long blue line....we need to show thw nation and the world that there is a long "white" line......solidarity in numbers they say...and you know what, they are right. If we do not stop the "divide and conquer" policy that management over the years has tried so hard to maintain so that we as nurses remain forever in a state of confusion, disillusionment and turmoil and pull together....we will forever be the door mat to not only the doctors and other professionals in the hospital but to our patients as well and we will loose the little respect from the patients that we do get.

    C'mon, family.......let's get our keyboards smokin' in support of our fellow nurses in protest of workplace violence....there IS strength in numbers and if we stick TOGETHER and write letters...we CAN make a difference.
  7. by   Shamrock
  8. by   nowplayingEDRN
    Another empassioned letter from the smoking keyboard of Untamedspirit:

    Dear Ms. Hoeller and Ms. Nowlin;

    I am writing to you both after reading the story of a nurse whom had her finger tip bitten of by a 20 year old patient in her Emergency Department while trying to restrain him and watching the attached video clip from the security tape.

    I read with great intertest and horror that you both chose the side of the patient. I am still amazed and horrorfied that you chose that side. I realize that I was not present at the time of the attack and I realize that i have no legal background, however; I found several things very disturbing in this incident that I feel compelled to write to you both about. And after reading my words, just maybe you might rethink your stance in this terrible incident.

    The first thing that disturbs me is that not only was this man intoxicated but under the influence of an illegal, controlled substance but under age as well. Why are they not looking to hold the person that served this young man the alcohol accountable for his actions too? In addition to this, the man was wanted on an outstanding warrant for domestic violence. This indicates that this man has a history of violence toward women in general and has commited a violent crime in the past. This was very disturbing that a viloent criminal is being given more benefit of the doubt than the nurse who was trying to protect herself as well as the patient in her care.

    The second thing I would like to address is your statement that the man "did not seem agitated" in the video clip. I would like to point out that, although he did not seem agitated, he was displaying body language that literally screamed agitated and belligerance. He was in a constant state of motion, hands waving, moving and at times flailing. His perpetual movement on the stretcher, up the stretcher, down the stretcher, off the stretcher tell me that this man was anything but calm and docile. he was also pacing in the room and approaching the door on a regular basis. You will note that every time this man approached the door his hands were making gestures that could be interpreted as threatening to the healthcare providers on the otherside. they were obviously interpreted that way as you see several people enter into the room, including security officers, prior to his confinement on the stretcher.

    Thirdly, you say that the nurse was kneeling on the man's chest. I watched that section of tape several times and her knees were never on the chest of the patient. On the contrary, she had one(1) knee on the man's shoulder to pin his right upper body to the stretcher while the restraints were applied. I would ask you both, have you ever been a part of a man power incident in an Emergancy Department or on any ward in the hospital for that manner? Do you even comprehend what happens during a man power incident?? The patient is restrained physically and forcefully while awaiting the arrival and application of four(4) point leather restraints by any means necessary to keep the patient from becoming hurt while protecting the healthcare provider. A female nurse of slender build is not without warrant to use her knee on a shoulder or arm for restraining perposes while awaiting the application of leather restraints, adjusting her knee and the patient verbalizes discomfort, yet still keeping the patient restrained. THhere was never at any point in the video, both her knees on the man's chest as you stated. How could you so blatantly lie about on of your "own". Have you no pride in the profession you left for the legal system? have you no moral or ethical values? I am appalled that you would allow your self to be quoted on a lie. I thought justice was about not only due process but honor and TRUTH.

    Next, I would ask, where is the towel that was supposedly placed around the patient's neck? Did you ever think that the towel was being held infront of the patient's mouth while removing the hood in case he started to spit again? Let me ask you if you would like to have someone spit in your face or eye? Although there is slight risk at contracting disease from saliva, I still would not like to put myself at that risk. And yet, in everyday patient care with nonviolent patients that is exactly what I and hundreds of thousands of nurses do. We put our self on the line to provide top quality patient care to the sick, injured and mortally wounded. Yes there is personal protective equipment that can be used, but some facilities still do not have this equipment or even masks with face shields redily available to their nurses and yet every day they go towork they unselfishly continue to provide care with out protection for themselves. I did not even see any incidence that they had tried to tape this man's mouth shut as was also stated. Open your eyes, Ladies to the truth before you. Just because Lady Justice is blind with her balances in one hand a nd a sword in the other does not mean you must see things blindly as well.

    Yet the most puzzling thing to me is this: Did you view this tape with any audio track?? Sound would tell the true story to what happened in that room and would ultimately be the deciding factor.

    I ask you this following question, Why is it that the health care professional, nurses in particular, are required to endure and tolerate acts of violent behavior from patients and it is looked at as all in a days work and perfectly acceptable. But let that health care professional take measures to protect him/herself and right away, we are guilty of assault and are terrible people with no ethics or morals at all. When will the public take the side of the healer and care giver?? When will it not be acceptable for a health care provider to be assaulted by the very people they attempt to care for?? When will the public finally take a stand for the right of the health care worker?

    The paper states it paid for an unbiased, outsider to view the incident and review the tape. I ask, was the unbiased viewers paid for in advance to say such slanderous, biased opinions against the nurse in question?

    I thank you for your time in reading my letter.


    Christie , RN
    Monticello, NY
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by lgflamini
    You know, when I did a Google search on workplace violence related to nurses, the only pages that came up were from Australia, UK, and Canada. I couldn't find on American hit with anything related to this problem, or legislature regarding it.
    The California Board of Registered Nursing has a position on Violence in the workplace.

    lgflamini: Thank you for the link. I remembered reading here about the Florida nurse killed by a patient. Seemed to be related to unsafe staffing to me.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jun 9, '03
  10. by   atownsendrn
    untamed spirit - you write with such passion and eloquence. Perhaps you could start a petition of some type that we could all sign and send to these bozo's.
  11. by   bellehill
    Untamedspirit - awesome letter to the "experts". Please post any response they send you!
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by atownsendrn
    untamed spirit - you write with such passion and eloquence. Perhaps you could start a petition of some type that we could all sign and send to these bozo's.
    I posted my political opinions so much on another topic that I don't want my name on the board. Co workers are fine, CEO & hospitals where I work registry may give trouble.
    I will be glad to sine and sent in individually or sign by PM.

    This is just so wrong.
    It would be different if the nurse bit the patient!
  13. by   Nurse Ratched
    OK - here's mine:

    Dear Sir:

    As a registered nurse employed in psychiatric services, I was dismayed to watch the spin put on the incident involving the nurse whose finger was lacerated. Two legal nurse consultants didn't think there was any reason for a patient to be restrained when he was intoxicated, clearly agitated although we could not hear the sound, and removing dressings (possibly an IV site also? - again the audio/video was less than crystal clear.) Nonetheless, the man required medical attention or he would not have been in the hospital. Would the experts rather we leave him unattended to do harm to himself because staff was afraid to restrain him for his own protection?

    Since the fact that the patient was spitting was an issue, I must note that spitting can be considered assault if a person is infected with body-fluid-borne diseases. Emergency department nurses are completely ignorant of what may be coming through their doors, and must assume the worst of all patients in terms of infectious status.

    I myself have been involved in take-downs of violent and/or intoxicated patients. Fortunately, none has resulted in the level of staff injury indicated here, but the potential for staff harm is always present. In fact, more often staff is harmed in their efforts to prevent harm from coming to the patient.

    I applaud this nurse for standing up for her right NOT to be assaulted in the course of her employment. No other profession is expected to take physical abuse as just "part of the job." While this man may have been out of control at the time (altho his selective memory of the night's events suggests he may have more recall than he is willing to admit) he certainly was in his right mind when he chose to get drunk and high. Given his history, he clearly has a pattern of violent behavior, and as such, was negligent in allowing himself to become that inebriated. It is no excuse for his behavior. I hope the real criminal in this case is prosecuted, not the nurse who was merely doing her job.

    It will be a sad state of affairs if we forget who the real victim is in this case.