Our unit is a combined adolescent/adult acute care unit within the hospital. We have 17 adult, 3 adolescent, and 3 emergency assessment beds. We have 2 seclusion rooms for the entire population. Assuming a full census with no high risk, aggressive, or constant observation patients we would typically have 5-6 RNs and 1 male LPN, weekdays. Weekends we have 3 RNs and 1 male LPN. If a pt requires seclusion and constant obs, the male LPN is often assigned to this task. Considering this, and because males are tasked to provide crisis intervention for this and other units in the hospital, I am the lucky winner some days.
The subject has been on my mind a lot lately. We had a crisis on the weekend. A pt attempted strangulation on the unit, and for a brief period, only myself and one other male RN were available to directly intervene. The charge RN had to try and help us plus call for orderlies, get orders and prep meds. Apparently the only orderly in the whole hospital was tied up with another pt, and our male LPN had to run back the the unit, after having responded to a pt crisis in ER. Anyway, we spent quite a long time on the floor restraining this pt until the level of aggression decreased.
My worry was, in all that, if anything else had happened on the unit, who could have responded? Or what if we could not have restrained the pt, what about our safety? I have NVCI training, but I am not very experienced or physically capable of handling a violent pt without adequate assistance. I just wanted to know if my situation and experience is common to this field. I appreciate all the information being shared, it is very helpful.