Staff Abuse

  1. Any feedback or recourse for staff abuse by patients?

    I have worked as a travel nurse in 3 State hospitals in NC.
    This last one I am working at has had more staff being jumped and beaten by patients than anywhere else I have ever worked at or have heard about . All of the other nurses that have worked elsewhere agree.
    We have had Doctors being choked to death and a collar bone broken.
    We had a female nurse who was jumped and choked and her glasses broken.
    A young female HCT who was choked to the point of being unconcious and blue.
    This is not just randon , and there are many more incidents that I am not describing here. I do understand that psychiatry can be risky and violent.
    This has been beyond that.
    There are many incidents of staff abuse that we have seen and I am wondering if there is any recourse other than quiting which really doesnt address or solve the problem.
    This is a major issue and although i am not able to discuss this on a deeper level the fact is we are all very concerned and it doesnt seem that this is being adressed in a proactive way.
    Thank you
  2. Visit fawnsternurse profile page

    About fawnsternurse

    Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 227; Likes: 54
    R.N.; from GA , US
    Specialty: 24 year(s) of experience in psych, medical, drug rehab


  3. by   Alois Wolf
    Don't they have haldol/ativan in your hospital?
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Sounds like there is a security deficit in those facilities! Also - in IL, a mentally ill patient was successfully prosecuted and placed in a locked Dept of Corrections facility after choking an RN and causing permanent brain damage.
  5. by   flightnurse2b
    i think i know exactly which hospital in NC you are talking about... i did my mental health rotation there. had a HCT get his eye knocked out one night, another night a female HCT almost raped and a patient stab another patient with a shank he made from a pencil. there is a huge lack of security there and staffing is always an issue. there is a plan of closing it down by next march.... which is even kinda more frightening, cause they dont have a place for all those people to go.....
  6. by   Thunderwolf
    So, sad and tragic.
    Inpatient psych first rule of thumb is safety first...otherwise, it is all moot and counter therapeutic/productive.
    If reforms in basic safety cannot be met, best the facility close...for all's sake.
  7. by   Blackcat99
    I use to work in state psych hospitals. I saw too many staff members get injured. One male nurse got a large part of his nose bit off by a male patient. Another nurse got a "permanent limp" after being attacked by a female patient. I lucked out. I got out without being killed or seriously injured. I will never ever work in a psych hospital again. It's not worth it period.
  8. by   ginger58
    File a police report. Demand the hospital get bouncer type security. Restraint chairs such as used in jails for time out. Better medication/adjusted meds. Maybe be outfitted with tasers. After being tasered I don't think they'll do it again. Training for staff on self defense and some of the pressure points to help cease and desist. I'm so sorry these things are happening to staff. It really is criminal.
  9. by   fawnsternurse
    Thank you all for your feedback. I guess its like a bad marriage. You cannot always expect your partner to change but you can certainly re vist things and implement changes on your own behalf. Which I will do.
    Thank you all again
  10. by   abbaking
    Although I mainly work in Med/Surg, I an MAB certified (Management of Assaultive Behavior) as I do float to adolescent behavioral medicine from time to time. I was taught in the MAB class and our hospitals unwritten rule is that if a patient is threatening your life or if you are in danger of severe bodily harm, staff are to do whatever is possible to safe their life and limb. If this means punching a patient or kicking them for a free second to run and seek safety, it is acceptable in a life or death situation. I once had a really big teenager punch me in the face so hard i had a bloody nose. In that situation when staff is being assualted and no help is immediately available, DO WHAT YOU GOT TO DO.
  11. by   NPAlby
    Which hospitals? Im due to start working in NC as a traveler in Feb and you guys have me worried. I've worked state hospitals before VA and NYC and havent had problems with patient violence. Then again Ive worked forensics where security is a lot tighter.
    How about pressing charges I think staff needs to be more proactive and go through the legal process to make sure these patients face some consequence.
  12. by   fawnsternurse
    All you have to do is go to

    and type in John Umstead Hospital and you will get a load of information.

    Thats why they use travelers, because the mental health system in NC got a D on their report card!
    I have been down here as a Traveler for a bit now and man what I have seen would curl anyone's toes. It is really a shame too because they , meaning management are so resistant to change. Unfortunately they are going to have to become more open because DFS and other groups are now forcing their hands.
    They have a lot of poorly trained, uneducated staff. Even many of the nurses are very "simplistic" in their thinking which increases safety risks and violence against patients and staff.
    Truly... go check the articles out.
    They have made front page news in Raleigh.
  13. by   BoogiePop
    That's horrible! isn't OSHA supposed to do something about it? Kind of makes me think because in my hospital we do get our share of violence but never on these extremes!
  14. by   PsychRN-Kris
    Yikes. Sounds like there are some serious management problems there. The idea is to diffuse situations early before they turn in to escalated violence. If patient's have access to dangerous objects that's also a serious problem on the unit. I'm really surpised the hospital is allowed keep the unit open and/or keep staff with those sort of things going on!