I am a new graduate ER nurse and I've gotta say that thus far when I've seen a patient becoming abusive, our charge nurses let them know pretty quick that they can leave if they are going to act that way and if they choose to continue being verbally/physically abusive, we'll call the police to help them find the door! However, when I worked as a CNA on a med-surg floor, I was verbally assaulted, punched and pinched a couple of times by patients - most of whom were elderly and confused. I really do believe they can't help it, but it doesn't make it any easier to handle. In both of the physical assault situations though, I was caught unaware because the nurse and the CNA I relieved hadn't mentioned this person's propensity to strike out. When I told my nurse about it, she said, "oh yeah, they mentioned that in report." Well, why didn't you tell ME?? I was angrier at the nurse than I was the patient.