Quote from DesiDani
Please share how your employee handled the situation and how you dealt with it.
Did you mean to write employee or employer? I'm just wondering if what you're interested in learning more about is the managers/supervisors/the bigwigs' perspective and how they've dealt with situations when a member of staff has received threats or if you're wondering if we (the underlings
) feel that we've been supported by our employers when we've been threatened?
I haven't really received any threats that I considered truly scary in my nursing career. Because of a previous career, I'm quite accustomed to threats and have reached a point were the "heat of the moment" kind of threats don't faze me. Sometimes I think I've depleted my lifetime adrenaline supply
I don't have the energy to get scared, I lean more towards annoyance or anger. Probably not entire healthy, but it is what it is.
People who are under a lot of emotional strain, or those under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs can spout a lot of crap. Even people who are normally relatively well behaved can act out of character when they are scared, frustrated or experience loss of control (due to for example illness). I'm not saying that being sick and scared or being drunk/high makes it more acceptable to threaten others (it's not), my point is that I seldom perceive these threats as genuinely frightening.
I have on more than one occasion responded with a "put a cork in it" to promises to slit my throat or similar, when I've felt that the person was merely acting out/trying to provoke a reaction and that they wouldn't even remember the threat they uttered the next day, or for that matter recognize me if we met again. I've only been genuinely scared on two occasions, neither have been during my nursing years. The reason they scared me was that I knew that they had the means and definitely compelling motivation to carry out their threats and the threats were more "long-term", rather than acute in nature.
These days I seldom encounter threatening patients or family members but it did happen on a semi-regular basis when I worked in the ER. Most of the times I found that talking to and listening to
the offender would be enough to calm down the situation. When that didn't work or wasn't a suitable/feasible approach to the particular situation we had to call security or the police. I have restrained and placed a patient under arrest after he attacked a physician and on three separate occasions (if I recall correctly) given witness testimony to the police when patients have physically attacked coworkers or threatened them in a manner that was serious enough to warrant a police report/arrest. I think it's important make it clear to those who really cross way over the line (and I'm not referring to patients with dementia or TBI or similar), that society doesn't tolerate that kind of behavior even if the perpetrator happens to be a patient.
I have always felt that I work in a supportive/zero tolerance environment.
I've never had a manager who thought that violence against healthcare professionals is acceptable and I wouldn't accept one who did