Kris, your post sounded like I wrote it myself. I work in a smaller psych unit (25) beds, but the problems we face are much the same. Mostly violent, homeless patients looking for 3 hots and a cot. The majority of which are receiving Medicaid, and is sure money for the hospital.
We have 2 nurses and a psych tech on the 2nd shift, ALL female. NO SECURITY on the unit. A few nights ago, we had a homeless, schizophrenic attack several patients, attempted to attack me several times, rammed his own head into a steel door,bursting his head open and STILL continued to threaten everybody. Management refuses to address the issue of safety to the staff and patients. When I attempted to offer suggestions, they quickly informed me, "this is NOT a jail." I agree, it's not a jail, it's an institution driven by GREED and that's the bottom line. It's impossible for us who "care" to help anyone that might be helped because we have to cater to the ones who don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting any better.
Like you, I could go on and on.....but I plan to submit my resignation and consider it a lesson learned.