"Experimental Units"?


There is a dementia unit where I work whose manager and doctor seem to be engaged in some kind of "experiment" with the residents there. These are severely impaired folks, and many are physically aggressive. It's actually more of a de facto psych unit, as opposed to straight off Alzheimer's.

Within days of an admission, the manager starts pulling all psych meds, with the doctor's cooperation. In doesn't matter what the med is, or how long they've been on it, or how bad their symtoms are, they get their meds pulled. Of course, this works out quite well...*snort!*

Numerous staff members are out on comp after working this unit. One resident bit into the hand of a CNA, almost tore off two fingers. That CNA is now permanently disabled. Want to know what the reaction was from the manager? He said "Well, I'd never have put my hand that close to his face..."

The CNA was FEEDING the resident, for God's sake! If there is a way to feed someone from, say, across the room, they should inservice us all on this method! Other's who have been injured are likewise blamed for bringing it on themselves.

I realize that there are some who do not like to medicate, and I agree that less meds are better, IF it is warranted by the resident's condition. But there are people who NEED their meds. Their psychological symtoms are just that, symtoms, and deserve to be treated just as any physical symtoms would be. Leaving such distrubed persons without any relief puts not just them, but the entire staff at risk. And blaming those staff who get hurt for their injuries is just adding insult to the injury.

As far as I am concerned, this is abuse. On the doctor's part, it is malpractice. I call it an "experimental unit" because it is the only unit in my facility that does this. I just find it so hard to believe that this kind of 'management' is allowed, and why a doctor, who prescribes properly on all other units, goes along with this kind of nonsense on this one particular unit, despite the well-documented behaviors of these residents.

Well, just wanted to rant...I can promise you this, though. If I am ever injuured on that unit, I'm going to "lawyer up" real quick! The facility is allowing a dangerous situation to go on, and placing staff at risk of serious injury. If they want to experiment, then they can assume the responsibility for whatever happens!


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Specializes in ER. Has 3 years experience.

Leave. NOW. Don't wait till you get hurt.


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Specializes in Gerontology, nursing education.
Leave. NOW. Don't wait till you get hurt.

I agree. It sounds as if management will not back you up if something happens.

Please check your PMs.

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