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I was slapped by a patient

Nurses   (5,294 Views 60 Comments)
by ally1991 ally1991 (Member)

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You are reading page 4 of I was slapped by a patient. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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3 hours ago, Ruby Vee said:

If he wasn't a patient and you weren't his nurse, I'm guessing he would already have been arraigned for assault and battery.  So it absolutely *IS* about him being a patient.  

For far too long, we've excused assault and battery by patients (and their families) because "they were upset" or "he's not himself."  It's not right.

 This! You can't smack anyone else at their place of employment and it be glossed over. Why are nurses always expected to accept this type of behavior? The way my reactions are set up due to my past history of an abusive spouse, he might have had a problem because I'm not good at being an abuse victim.

Nevertheless, glad OP filed charges and thanks for sharing.

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This is going to sound super ignorant on my part, but why is HIPAA being mentioned in this situation at all? I don’t see the connection. Nurse assaulted by patient. End of story. There are huge signs hanging on walls all over my hospital that it is a federal crime to assault any employee in my hospital and the perpetrator will be prosecuted. My coworker was kicked by a patient once, you better believe security and the police were called. This patient’s chart needs to be flagged for a history of aggression so that next time he doesn’t cause more damage.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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15 hours ago, andrea3434 said:

Somehow the topic of reporting a patient to the police has never come up in any of my modules 🤔

Lucky you! It comes up ever year for me. Maybe it's just never caught your attention? I've only worked in three hospitals, but it's always been there ...required. I'm not saying I pay attention to all the details, but ...I do have to pass the test and print out the certificate.

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14 hours ago, LM NY said:

This is going to sound super ignorant on my part, but why is HIPAA being mentioned in this situation at all? I don’t see the connection. Nurse assaulted by patient. End of story.

Because someone asked a question which, all things considered, was not that unreasonable.

This is sure to be an educational thread for some. Also hopefully empowering. The reason HIPAA has been raised as a topic in this thread is because, in presentations to nurses and staff,  HIPAA is frequently boiled down to its most basic elements and then mixed up with employers' privacy practices and institutional policies, and their utopian dreams of not having any dissatisfied patients or any PR difficulties.

Not every hospital has signs reminding patients and visitors not to assault HCWs, since those may give the public the idea that assaults have happened there and also might give them the idea that they actually cannot do whatever they want while visiting.

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1,310 Visitors; 22 Posts

Nurses and health professionals are the number one trusted profession as well as the number one assaulted profession. More so than law enforcement! You did the right thing. 

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I hope you filed charges and buy somep pepper spray. When a patient attacks a caregiver, they are no longer a patient, they become another street thug. Fight back as if you were fighting to save your life.

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Krispy Kritter works as a Med Surg nurse.

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To all the people who say to report this to law enforcement - in most cases they will not do anything about it and administration will not either.  Unfortunately it has become acceptable in our society to assault nurses.  I have personally been assaulted twice on the job and have had coworkers assaulted and no one I know was able to file any police charges or get any action from hospital administration.  Even going to the police station to press charges ourselves was met with no action by police.  After I was physically assaulted and reported it, I was assigned to take care of the same patient the very next day.   I had to work the entire 12 hour shift afraid of my patient and after that I resigned and I will not work as a hospital nurse anymore.

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN.

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2 hours ago, Krispy Kritter said:

To all the people who say to report this to law enforcement - in most cases they will not do anything about it and administration will not either.  Unfortunately it has become acceptable in our society to assault nurses.  I have personally been assaulted twice on the job and have had coworkers assaulted and no one I know was able to file any police charges or get any action from hospital administration.  Even going to the police station to press charges ourselves was met with no action by police.  After I was physically assaulted and reported it, I was assigned to take care of the same patient the very next day.   I had to work the entire 12 hour shift afraid of my patient and after that I resigned and I will not work as a hospital nurse anymore.

I am really sorry that happened to you... truly.  (((Hugs)))

Not reporting however, will guarantee that nothing will be done, and will continue to send the message that this is acceptable behavior— not the crime it is.

 I wonder too if anyone’s AG would be more responsive than hospital admin?  Like if the victim contacted the AG himself if police did nothing?

Edited by Here.I.Stand

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pluckyduck has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse.

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I was assaulted for the same reason—patient discharged from ED, had no place to go. So he punched me in the side of the head and he got an admission to a psych facility and 4 points. You better believe I pressed charges. I went with our department security who drove me to the precinct to file a report immediately after I was medically evaluated. I spent the better part of a year going to court repeatedly and he eventually got 30 days in jail as a misdemeanour assault charge (which is crap but I digress). We all need to be filing reports and pressing criminal charges because if we don’t hold people accountable for this behaviour and continue to “accept it” as part of nursing it will never change. It’s not too late. And if you don’t have the support of management behind you, then you need to start looking for another job. You don’t want to work for that kind of environment. 

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Dragonnurse1 has 9 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Former ER nurse and home hemodialysis now just hom.

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We always had off duty Police or Sheriffs working nights in the ER with us for things just like this. They often observed the treatment and responded without us having to call, if they were in another part of the ER they were paged over head to come immediately.  There was no time delay. They were there and took care of the offender often long before the Nursing Supervisor got to the ER.  Perhaps your facility could do the same.  

If fact all the ER's in my city have security in this form working especially on nights.  I am glad you were not badly hurt and reported this to the Nursing Supervisor, your Dept Manager and the police.

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I was assaulted in a pts home by a cg and then battered as I was leaving. The cg snatched the door out of my hand as I reached for the doorknob and slammed the door on my ankle as I was walking out of the door. My ankle was injured and still swells today. My supervisor had me fill out an incident report but they didn't discharge the pt immediately. She said she forgot this happened the very next day when she was about to send another nurse to the home. The pt was discharged well all other nurses refused to see the pt and demanded the pt be discharged.  I wish now that I had called the police. I thought my employer would have frowned on that.  Really, myemployer should have encouraged me to call law enforcement. I won't hesitate to do so in the future, job be damned. I will never let anyone get away with that ever again. 

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RobbiRN is a RN and works as a ER RN.

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On 3/22/2019 at 9:20 PM, LM NY said:

This is going to sound super ignorant on my part, but why is HIPAA being mentioned in this situation at all? I don’t see the connection. Nurse assaulted by patient. End of story. There are huge signs hanging on walls all over my hospital that it is a federal crime to assault any employee in my hospital and the perpetrator will be prosecuted. My coworker was kicked by a patient once, you better believe security and the police were called. This patient’s chart needs to be flagged for a history of aggression so that next time he doesn’t cause more damage.

I've seen signs like this in airports all over Europe and in Australia, especially in the immigration areas. Several of us have forwarded examples of signs from other hospitals to management and security at our facility, but so far our administration hasn't seen fit to trouble the public with the notion that they are to to treat staff and other patients with respect. Here's one from a hospital in Sidney:  

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Edited by RobbiRN
Uploaded the image x5

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