Nurse dies after assault at job. She finished her shift first.

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by missmollie missmollie, ADN, BSN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in Neuroscience. Has 4 years experience.

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balletomane, ADN, RN

Specializes in Neurology/Oncology. Has 8 years experience. 35 Posts

On ‎4‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 12:35 AM, systerm said:

I would say it is a lack of respect, from both patients and managements.

Perhaps this society does not want nurses? If so, I wish you luck and my sincerest condolences.

All in all, as a society, you need to ask yourself, what kind of a world do you really want to live in? Does punishments work, or do we need to reprogram people/humans from the beginning of their lives of acceptable behaviours (socialization), go back to good honest values, and learn how to handle situations without punching somebody in the face. In other words, be decent.

It should also be noted that nurses are in majority women. So perhaps that is another issue? Hate of women? Easy to punch? Safe to punch?

How about a rule, if you abuse (verbally/physically) or assault any staff in a hospital, you will be thrown out. End of story. This is not a boxing gym.

I do not think it is only a lack of respect for nurses. It is a lack of respect for others in general.

balletomane, ADN, RN

Specializes in Neurology/Oncology. Has 8 years experience. 35 Posts

20 hours ago, PN2RN2019 said:

What manager, charge or supervisor let a nurse work her shift after being brutally attacked? Despite what the nurse wanted to do, she should’ve been immediately sent to the ED. Anyways, doesn’t seem like much would’ve come anyways since she did end up going there and was sent home. There should be signs all over hospital stating violence will be not tolerated. The hospital I work at, we have signs all over ED that read “violence against staff will not be tolerated” in bold letters!!! Patients aren’t always right!!!

A sign stating that "Violence Will Not Be Tolerated" does not work with those with AMS, psych pts, those with encephalopathy, alcohol/drug abuse, etc. If signs worked, all businesses with "No Guns Allowed" would not get robbed or gunned down.

NightNerd

NightNerd, MSN, RN

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 8 years experience. 1,126 Posts

40 minutes ago, balletomane said:

A sign stating that "Violence Will Not Be Tolerated" does not work with those with AMS, psych pts, those with encephalopathy, alcohol/drug abuse, etc. If signs worked, all businesses with "No Guns Allowed" would not get robbed or gunned down.

Agree that signs alone will not fix the problem, especially when hospital administrators do nothing to act on these zero tolerance policies. I can see them helping facilitate a lower incidence of these issues, but only if we put our money where our mouth is. Nothing annoys me more than patients who have a behavioral contact, violate it, and get to stay in the hospital anyway because no one will act on the contract.

imenid37

imenid37

1,804 Posts

On 4/16/2019 at 12:27 PM, Jory said:

We have to be careful about drawing causation. Blood clots killing someone after something like this is extremely rare and the nurse most likely had a coagulation disorder that was previously undiagnosed.

So because she may have had a coag disorder, does that excuse this patient assaulting her? It is like a pregnant woman being hit in the abdomen and dying of an abruption. Does that mean the attacker should get a pass because the woman chose to be pregnant and she would not have died if she was not? I don't think so! Now coroner has ruled the nurse's death a homicide because of the blood clot related to the leg injury incurred during the assault.

4 hours ago, balletomane said:

She did seek help and she may have asked. Just asking doesn't mean you get one. And, PEs don't immediately show up following injury.

True, but it can't hurt to ask. The point is, I hope she advocated for herself as best as she could have. Was she made to go back to work or was it her choice? As nurses we need to remember to take care of ourselves, the hospitals and facilities will operate regardless. They probably already have someone to replace her.

gcupid

gcupid

511 Posts

I've recently been in verbally abusive situations in which there wasn't support from charge nurse nor house supervisor. The common theme was to allow the patient to vent and to have a poker face throughout the entire ordeal with the hopes that the patient would calm down after expressing himself/herself.

I advocate for prompt security and setting the tone to what will not be tolerated. You can't go into a post office acting up. You can't go in an airport or plane acting up. Try it! They know there's heavy consequences in those places.

The nurse here should have went straight to an ER (as a good policy would require) and forced to go home. (I believe this hospital doesn't have an ER because it's in an area where many black uninsured people are and the ER did not make the hospital money, so it was shut down.)

I definitely hold the hospital liable and accountable. Her family should sue and get as much money as they can. Her death could have been prevented.

Edited by gcupid

1 hour ago, gcupid said:

I've recently been in verbally abusive situations in which there wasn't support from charge nurse nor house supervisor. The common theme was to allow the patient to vent and to have a poker face throughout the entire ordeal with the hopes that the patient would calm down after expressing himself/herself.

I advocate for prompt security and setting the tone to what will not be tolerated. You can't go into a post office acting up. You can't go in an airport or plane acting up. Try it! They know there's heavy consequences in those places.

The nurse here should have went straight to an ER (as a good policy would require) and forced to go home. (I believe this hospital doesn't have an ER because it's in an area where many black uninsured people are and the ER did not make the hospital money, so it was shut down.)

I definitely hold the hospital liable and accountable. Her family should sue and get as much money as they can. Her death could have been prevented.

Maybe because this isn't the news reporting, it may not be accurate but it say's she was not able to finish her shift. I am wondering if she did or didn't?

https://nurse.org/articles/nurse-attacked-by-patient-dies-manslaughter/

Jbgood

Jbgood

11 Posts

As someone who is a psych nurse it’s common that people feel it’s ok to attack us verbally and physically. I get tired of people who feel like just because they have psych issues they get a pass to be abusive. I’ve actually straight up asked patients, why are you screaming at me? And it usually follows up with a lame excuse like- I’m stressed cause my brother died, my wife left me, I can’t get my benzos or narcs, I’m bored, I’m homeless and have nowhere to go...and it’s all your fault and you don’t understand! Oh yes, your situation is all my fault and I have never had stress or trauma in my life either. Ok.

I’m a human being too, sometimes I have to remind patients of that. Sad but true!

First time I was violently assaulted was a few months ago and the charge nurse asked if I wanted to press charges. When the police officer came he acted like he was put out for having to fill out a report over a psych patient attacking a nurse, almost to the point of insinuating that this is my job so I should expect it. Really, should police officers expect abuse too and just tolerate it?

They are only going to charge this guy in the article with manslaughter and with good behavior he could be out in a few years. Heaven help us all!

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,008 Posts

On 4/16/2019 at 11:27 AM, Jory said:

We have to be careful about drawing causation. Blood clots killing someone after something like this is extremely rare and the nurse most likely had a coagulation disorder that was previously undiagnosed.

Perhaps, but it likely would not have been a problem at that particular time without the assault.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,008 Posts

On 4/16/2019 at 2:49 PM, SmilingBluEyes said:

WHY in blue blazes is this tolerated? So I am frustrated cause my cable guy decided to show up 8 hours late. Should I slap him? The waitress at my favorite restaurant did not refill my drink in a timely manner. Maybe I should punch her lights out? The ER clerk was rude when I came for a sprained ankle, telling me I would have to wait 8 hours cause there were criticals ahead of me. Maybe I pick up the phone and hit him in the face? I was treated poorly at the driver's licensing office......BAM take out a gun and threaten him for what I was subjected to?

I am understandably upset in the above cases---- so justified? Not even close.

WHO ELSE tolerates this garbage? Who else is expected to tolerate and work through the worst kind of abuse? Pressing charges for assault. Nice, except the nurse/doctor/ancillary staff member who does this faces recrimination from adminstration. Bull feces.

People are sick. That does not give them or their families a free pass. In times past, nurses were respected (forget "trusted" whatever that really means). This kind of thing never would fly in those days. Doctors were respected, too. They suffer abuse as well. As do lab personnel, CNA's, care partners, volunteers, pharmacy staff (a pharmacy tech was killed not long ago)....it's disgusting and if there is no shortage of nurses now, just wait.

My daughter decided against a career in nursing because as a tech she saw what we are subjected to. I don't blame her and won't stand in her way. I don't want this for her.

Z-Dogg says it all: IT MUST STOP NOW. This nurse DIED. When does it end? Maybe when class action lawsuits succeed and they get hit where it hurts.....for them anyhow....in the pocketbook. ENOUGH already.

This is tolerated because it's all about the bottom line, and individual nurses are interchangeable and expendable. Sadly.

I've been threatened with guns by the family members of sick patients, and when I raised a stink about it, I was told, "They're not at their best because their family member is ill." Not at their best? Really? Do you have to be at your best not to carry a gun into the hospital with the express purpose of threatening those who are trying to help?

Family members who were law enforcement came to the hospital with the express purpose of "fixing that NP that hurt Mom." (The NP was drawing blood cultures -- Mom was febrile and out of her mind.) When I tried to leave the room to contact the charge nurse, risk management, our manager, they blocked my way and carefully repositioned their jackets to draw attention to the guns they were carrying.

I was attacked with a shiv once, when a prisoner with a life sentence was visiting his father, also a prisoner with a life sentence. According to the law, we could not withdraw care on the prisoner in multi-system failure, circling the drain, because that would be shortening his life sentence. The son came in prepared to shorten the life sentence, and I was standing between him and his father. (Not knowingly -- I was trying to de-clot one of those itty bitty feeding tubes.). I got tackled from the side by the corrections officer who was watching when I wasn't . . . never have I been so grateful to be knocked down and crushed.

The only consequences in any of those cases were to the son trying to shorten his father's life sentence. He had privileges taken away.

I understand that in some states, it's a felony to attack a health care worker. I wish that were true -- and enforced -- in all 50 states.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,008 Posts

On 4/18/2019 at 12:35 AM, systerm said:

It should also be noted that nurses are in majority women. So perhaps that is another issue? Hate of women? Easy to punch? Safe to punch?

How about a rule, if you abuse (verbally/physically) or assault any staff in a hospital, you will be thrown out. End of story. This is not a boxing gym.

Interestingly enough, our unit is half male, half female. (Surgical ICU, feeder unit for CRNA school.) When patients attack a nurse on our unit, it is almost always a female nurse. When one of my 6 foot tall, physically fit male colleagues enters the room, the patient or family member suddenly calms right down. I wonder why that is.

quittaRN

quittaRN

Specializes in NICU,PICU, PCICU, and Peds ER. Has 13 years experience. 60 Posts

This breaks my heart all the care that nurses give everyday and we are attacked. Nursing is such a dangerous job and yet many of us still choose to do it. My heart aches for all nurses who have to deal with abuse, bullying and being attacked on the job, all because we love caring for others. ?