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Suspended for touching a child's head and face

Emergency   (7,374 Views | 47 Replies)
by GG66 GG66 (New) New Nurse

GG66 specializes in ER.

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PS: I think it's the hospital. Why? Because if the family was enraged and used the wording mentioned in the OP, termination would be rather likely -- not suspension.

I smell ridiculous BS on this one, which may or may not even be related to the incident in question at its core.

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14 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

But wait...there is also another fun possibility: The hospital received basic feedback that the child/family felt this type of touch was...meh...a little awkward. And then, for their own *%#@ing inexplicable reasons, the hospital has decided to ramp it up and "send a message" and above all go to every psychotic extent they can think of to make sure everyone knows they "took it seriously." 

I don't doubt this one bit. CYA mentality in all its glory. Look what happened to me. You'd think that if actually beat a child there might be some law enforcement involved but there wasn't. This was just the final step in a long line of bullying that occurred at this place. And I'm not talking about the "she didn't say hi to me so I feel bullied" crap.

Edited by Wuzzie

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

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Third possibility - maybe some other coworker or ER staff noticed the action and felt it might have been too over-the-top.

Rule of thumb - if you feel uncomfortable about something, you report it.

Maybe someone else just didn't understand your gesture. 

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1 hour ago, amoLucia said:

Rule of thumb - if you feel uncomfortable about something, you report it.

I would like to respectfully disagree--and I do mean it respectfully even though the topic of reporting people gets my hackles up a little. 🙂

The rule of thumb is if you know or suspect abuse (or neglect). Abuse!! Not if you can imagine something skeevy in your own mind or if you personally wouldn't prefer something. There is a difference between those latter things and abuse.

Applying mandated reporter ideas (in a twisted format, at that) to this and similar situations as some sort of cop-out justification for reporting them is not appropriate. The OP situation, if anything, revolves around issues of personal style and arguably professionalism - - not abuse or neglect or mistreatment. This is situation does not involve a need to protect any patient.

It is a complete disingenuous cop-out, in situation such as the OP scenario, to invoke the general idea of a "duty to report" over something that is unrelated to the intent of the law. I sincerely and adamantly believe it is unethical and unconscionable.

But even worse, disingenuous reporting is a grave disservice to people who are being abused.

 

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I feel like there’s way more to the story than given here. I am definitely NOT accusing you of doing anything inappropriate, but it would be nice to hear the family’s version of the story. 

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172 Posts; 993 Profile Views

1 hour ago, JKL33 said:

 

It is a complete disingenuous cop-out, in situation such as the OP scenario, to invoke the general idea of a "duty to report" over something that is unrelated to the intent of the law. I sincerely and adamantly believe it is unethical and unconscionable.

But even worse, disingenuous reporting is a grave disservice to people who are being abused.

 

 

100%, you get the trophy. (My next sentences are not about the OP, now I’m on a tangent.). This is why our social service and DCF workers are so overburdened and swamped that abused children repeatedly fall through the cracks. Some of the blame goes to people who constantly “report” (saw a child riding a bike alone and didn’t approve; saw a mom spank a child and don’t agree with spanking; etc), which sucks time and resources and is incredibly harmful to people who are actually in need of being protected. 

Edited by CommunityRNBSN
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PeakRN specializes in Adult and pediatric emergency and critical care.

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21 hours ago, GG66 said:

not Reiki, just a little stroke of head and cheek while giving a 9 year old an ice pack for an injured arm

I also suspect that there is more to the story than what is being shared.

I also think it's a bit weird to he stroking the face of a 9 year old. I don't see how this would be therapeutically effective, and depending on the kid or parents past experience you could be unintentionally reenacting trauma from their past.

I doubt this is the first time this issue has been addressed if you are being suspended for two days. I would eager that you already have had at least one written warning. If this is as innocent as you say I don't think an employer would just suspend you the first time, and if it was anything more you would have been fired. I would be looking to get a new job since the next time will probably result in termination, and it's a lot harder to get a new job after being fired than currently employed.

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Has anyone ever said anything to you about not touching children they way you did? Your situation just reminded me of an admission that I did. I sad down in the room in front of the computer and the patient a female, sat her chair close to mine. I had to tell her that I have to move back because I can't be that close to her. She took it well. Nowadays as nurses we really have to watch our backs because there are so many of us (so many nurses being pumped out of schools) that we are easily replaceable. The other thing is I am noticing many nurses whom are close to reaching retirement being fired. I  personally would have asked the patient if it is okay for me to touch them in an appropriate way of course. I also notice many nurses at my job doing IM injections in the patients butt but if I can go for the deltoid I do. I know that the buttocks allows for more medication adminstration versus the deltoid so I weigh my options and see if the deltoid is a choice I can make. 

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31 Posts; 965 Profile Views

I don't  know what  you did " wrong" either.  Your nurse manager or administrator must have issues re; this.  One  would have to be pretty cold not to soothe a child patient . Very odd. What does your Union say ? 

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HiddencatBSN is a BSN and specializes in Peds ED.

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I work in peds and I don’t think I’d touch a patient like that. It IS a very intimate gesture (intimacy isn’t limited to sexual intimacy) and at 9 a patient’s bodily autonomy should be respected and permission asked when touching isn’t a non optional part of the care. A suspension seems extreme to me though, but I would consider that people have different personal boundaries and touch therapy might not be appreciated by everyone. 

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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1 hour ago, HiddencatBSN said:

I work in peds and I don’t think I’d touch a patient like that. It IS a very intimate gesture (intimacy isn’t limited to sexual intimacy) and at 9 a patient’s bodily autonomy should be respected and permission asked when touching isn’t a non optional part of the care. A suspension seems extreme to me though, but I would consider that people have different personal boundaries and touch therapy might not be appreciated by everyone. 

As a peds nurse as well, I agree. I have done the same type of therapeutic touch described by the OP many times, but not necessarily on a 9 year old, and not necessarily on the cheek as that is indeed a very personal space. 

That being said, I definitely do not agree that this is something that you should be suspended for. Either the hospital is trying to CYA or make an example of you for some reason, the parents were "VIP" members who know someone in administration, or the third option being that maybe you had already been talked to about boundaries.

Sorry this happened to you. Regardless, I would probably be looking for another job.

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I have never worked with kids, but I would probably not touch a person's face. However, I disagree with the suspension

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