Upsetting Day with a side of Ethics issues.

  1. Hey all ...

    New to this forum, but I have to say, it gives me great peace to read some real world stores from some real people. You're all awesome in my book

    I'm a male nurse. I work in a very small town hospital ER. Religion is a big part of daily life around here. I was working last night in the ER, when we had 2 pts arrive. One pt was clearly on something, he was agitated thrashing about, punched an attending, and scratched a fellow nurse, even gave me a rough time. I'm 6' 5" pushing 225, I'm also in an amateur kickboxing league, I can handle myself. As a last resort Haldol was given. Yeah, it was like a scene off TV.

    Pt #2 followed, facial lacerations, the poor kid was a mess.

    Police were not involved because some people had broken up the fight. How this happened without police I have NO idea. According to a witness, PT1 had attacked PT2 for being gay, this was even later admitted by the attacker (PT1)

    I asked the attending if I should call the police. The attending said "No, that's ok, it was bound to happen, especially living like that in these parts" Then he said something to the effect of "He just needs to get some God in his life"

    It took me a moment to pick my jaw up off the floor, this was an attending I liked and respected, until now. I am gay, but my sexuality does not precede me. I am "out" to VERY few people at work. I just feel that weather I'm gay or not has NO effect on my job, I am here to take care of people, and who cares what I go to bed with at night.

    The whole situation just overwhelmed me, very little bother's me, but this is the first time I have cried being a nurse, I know I'm a relatively young nurse and have a ways ahead of me. This upsets me to the point where I don't know what to do? Do I go to administration??? We have an anti-discrimination policy, but it says I must report it to my attending, well my attending is doing the discriminating! To make it worse, his best friend from Med school is Chief of staff. So its not like my complaint would go anywhere other than the trash can, and potentially paint a target on my career.

    I love my job, I believe no matter how bad your day is, at the end of it, if you put one smile on a face, then that one face makes your job worth it! But this was a hard day for me, made me think why did I do this again? Then again, I guess we wouldn't be human with out "one of those days" every now and then.

    Can I file a complaint somewhere outside the hospital??? It is such a small place, with so many closed minded old farts in admin, this is a total Catch 22 Situation.

    Anyone hiring? This reaffirms my point that I need to get out of small-town USA.
  2. Visit kerric511 profile page

    About kerric511

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 58; Likes: 79

    30 Comments

  3. by   KateRN1
    Wow, no idea what to say, but couldn't read it without posting something. Hugs to you, since I can't do/say anything else.
  4. by   vashtee
    Wow, what a rotten day. Are we not legally mandated to report assaults? Or does that only apply when the victim is a child?
  5. by   jRN2be
    In the ER where I am a Tech, we are obligated by law to report all assaults. Does not matter what the MD or DO thinks. If the police are not already involved when EMS pulls up, then we call.
  6. by   MurseMikeD
    Wow. Just wow. That sort of thing would have people up in arms where I'm from.

    Listen, policy states you go to the attending, but he is the person you need to report. No sweat, situations like that you follow your chain of command. I'd go to my nurse manager if this happened, and as high above him as I needed if he wasn't willing to address it.
  7. by   kerric511
    Quote from jRN2be
    In the ER where I am a Tech, we are obligated by law to report all assaults. Does not matter what the MD or DO thinks. If the police are not already involved when EMS pulls up, then we call.
    Another nurse did end up calling.
  8. by   MurseMikeD
    Side note: I'm not sure about the laws where you live, but here, what that attending did is a crime. An MD failing to report an assault will land them in pretty hot water regardless of the circumstances.
  9. by   Rockhopper
    I'm sorry to hear about this. Anti-gay discrimination really gets under my skin. It's not right. The guy was assaulted & I'm glad that someone called the cops on the attacker.

    If you don't speak up, would you regret it? However, if you do speak up, are you prepared for the consequences? It doesn't seem like you are - plus from what I'm reading about the vibe of the town, you'll probably have a steep uphill battle. Are you able to relocate? Is travel nursing an option?
  10. by   Nurse523
    Well, you can come to Canada! I know that Toronto, Ontario is usually big on advocating for the homosexual population and it is taken seriously/heavily when someone makes racial comments.
  11. by   MHSA LPN
    It's not the failure to report the incident that disturbs me, but rather this comment: "He just needs to get some God in his life." Was he implying the patient needs God because he's gay? Or that the other patient needs God because he's violent? I would speak with someone in the HR department. Such behavior should not be tolerated, especially in a hospital. I'm sure there are AMA guidelines that prohibit such behavior.
  12. by   kerric511
    Quote from Nurse523
    Well, you can come to Canada! I know that Toronto, Ontario is usually big on advocating for the homosexual population and it is taken seriously/heavily when someone makes racial comments.
    I'm in Caribou Maine ... I can walk to Canada ... Literally.
  13. by   Moogie
    Quote from kerric511
    . According to a witness, PT1 had attacked PT2 for being gay, this was even later admitted by the attacker (PT1)

    I asked the attending if I should call the police. The attending said "No, that's ok, it was bound to happen, especially living like that in these parts" Then he said something to the effect of "He just needs to get some God in his life"
    How are you doing? How's the kid who was assaulted?

    In spite of what your homophobic attendant says, you should call the authorities. This is a hate crime.
  14. by   kerric511
    Quote from Moogie
    How are you doing? How's the kid who was assaulted?

    In spite of what your homophobic attendant says, you should call the authorities. This is a hate crime.
    I'm doing better ... I went to visit the kid today. He's better, got released this afternoon.

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