Jump to content

More nurses press charges against violent patients

News   (20,498 Views 53 Comments)
by Brian Brian, ASN, RN (Member)

Brian has 16 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele.

13 Articles; 201,289 Profile Views; 3,695 Posts

one second, er nurse ellen macinnis was inserting an iv into the arm of a drunken, hiv-positive patient. the next second, she was tasting the woman’s blood in her mouth.

“i opened my eyes, and all i could see was red blood,” said macinnis, a 47-year-old caritas st. elizabeth’s hospital nurse who was exposed to hiv and hepatitis c when the patient swung at her from a hospital bed in july, dislodging the iv and splashing blood everywhere. “it was just spewing out.”

macinnis, like several nurses interviewed for this story, pressed charges against her patient, something that nursing experts said was uncommon even 10 years ago but has become necessary for frontline caregivers dealing with an increasingly violent and addicted population.

ellen mcinnis, who works at the emergency room at st. elizabeth’s hospital, pressed charsges against an hiv patient.

full story: http://news.bostonherald.com/localregional/view.bg?articleid=1005826

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

100 Posts; 3,114 Profile Views

Right on!

Firefighters press charges. Cops press charges. Nurses are supposed to take it? Is it true that assaulting a doctor is a mandatory felony but it's only a misdemeanor to assault a nurse?

I see so many nurses at work try and laugh off the violence (I work in the ER), and I have heard a charge nurse tell a nurse who got smacked with a cane across the knees that it was "a waste of time" to press charges. Heck, now that I think about it, I've seen a nurse get choked by a crack head only to have thee attending push the nurse to "drop it" and just AMA the patient. That's messed up.

Maybe because we care for people in so many messed up conditions it seems cruel to punish them for hurting us, but then again- having serious issues is no excuse for violence. Doesn't matter if the person is mentally ill, on drugs, or

just a thugged out jerk, YOU TOUCH A NURSE YOU GO TO JAIL.

That's my perspective as a male.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

3 Followers; 36,785 Posts; 96,988 Profile Views

One of my friends had her jaw broken by a patient. However, he was a psych patient in a VA hospital and she said that in spite of that incident, working at the VA hospital was the best nursing job she ever had. She told me this years ago. I don't think she would have thought of pressing charges. I've been assaulted. Haven't pressed charges. But will reconsider the next time it happens. If I'm not supposed to take it from a domestic partner or a stranger walking down the street, why should I take it from a patient or a patient's family member? Doesn't make sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LeahJet has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU,ER.

486 Posts; 3,810 Profile Views

I would press charges so fast, their head would spin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

3 Followers; 36,785 Posts; 96,988 Profile Views

What has dumbfounded me has been the cavalier attitude of my employer regarding my safety and well being. I just don't know what to make of being given the brush off, being ignored, and losing my job over it. Just like the rape victim who is made to feel like, instead of being the victim, she is responsible for the act. I feel more victimized by the employer than the actual perpetrators. They were rewarded for their behavior. I have recurring medical needs that are not being met. So next time, I think I won't be so damn passive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

njbikernurse specializes in LTC, Sub-acute, correctional.

67 Posts; 1,197 Profile Views

I work in a county jail and one of our recent inmates was a man who assaulted a nurse in the ER. Got a 60 day sentence, yeah! He came in to the jail with a really bad attitude, and left thanking all of us nurses profusely for taking such good care of him. Maybe he learned a thing or two in those 60 days..........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

15 Followers; 152 Articles; 20,869 Posts; 188,375 Profile Views

In IL, it is a felony to assault a healthcare worker be they RN, LPN, CNA, pre-hospital EMS, etc. And...its enforced too!! I pressed charges against a patient who spit on me and hit me in the face. He got 120 days in the county jail. When we went to court, he was asked if he knew who I was? He didn't even remember he'd been to the ER that night! He was high on meth at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DutchgirlRN has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in OB, M/S, HH, Medical Imaging RN.

1 Article; 3,932 Posts; 21,638 Profile Views

I definately agree that nurses should prosecute pt's who are physically abusive. For those that are verbally abusive, I can handle that myself. I've had patients verbally abuse me and have had a telephone thrown at me (missed!) I have had excellent response from the doctors who promptly take the situation in hand. In the situation with the telephone the doctor promptly discharged the patient and gave them a piece of his mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mama Val is a ASN, RN and specializes in correctional-CCHCP/detox nurse, DOULA-Birth Assist.

132 Posts; 3,465 Profile Views

On the Unit where I work I have pressed charges when someone has touched or threatend me or any of my patients. Some of the other nurses I work with will try to talk the patient down give him extra medication or DC the problem out of the building and not even make a note in the file. That pi$$es me off soooooooooooo muchhhhhhhhhhh:angryfire :angryfire .

They dont't get it.

If you let some butthead come in here and treat you like crap and you condone the behavior then he is gonna treat me like crap when I come on shift and I WILL NOT PUT UP WITH IT. You are screwing over your co-workers and possibly placing them in harm......think about it.

If you let them continue to act like an ass then you are responsible as much as they are for anything that happens after that.

You treat me with the respect I deserve as a human being or you can leave....in the back of a cruiser or on your own 2 feet, but you will leave because after that we are done.

Life is full of choices make good ones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

2,195 Posts; 12,643 Profile Views

I had a patient this term who was hep b and c positive and was very combative and mean and would swing his arms wildly and yell obscenities and call names to the staff, I was trying to give his insulin (really quick and duck out of the way) and he started cursing at me and yelling and a doctor came in and got in his face and told him off for treating the nurses that way. Ordered him to apologize to me. He calmed down to some degree after that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BULLYDAWGRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU/ER/TRANSPORT.

218 Posts; 4,032 Profile Views

Had a pt threaten and grab my arm a few yrs ago, so I grabbed his neck. Needless to say he let go first. He continued to verbally threaten me, so I told him I'd meet him outside right now and we could throw down if he wanted to. Never came to that, security got there and kicked the guy out, I had to spend the better part of the next morining trying to explain my actions to the DON and CEO. For the world of me they could not understand why I had to grab and threaten the guy to diffuse the situation. Man I was pissed after all that, I still say to this day if I ever see that fella I'm going to go "John Wayne" on his butt..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

45 Posts; 1,361 Profile Views

I had a friend in the class ahead of me tell me about a psych patient at clinical who was grabbing her between the legs while she tried to lift him. It took a while to maneuver him into his wheelchair and all the way she was being assaulted. I asked her why she didn't stop trying to lift him or DO something and she said she didn't think she could. I was APPALLED by this story.

What would you all recommend doing in this situation? Personally I feel that I would want to drop him on his ass... =/ I want to be a nurse, but I don't want to get molested at clinical/work...

Oh and I have this clinical next semester, I'm kind of scared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×