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When does staff rights start

Psychiatric   (5,758 Views 32 Comments)
by Sniper06 Sniper06 (Member) Member

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I work at an inpatient crisis facility that has 2 units. One is involuntary-a lockdown unit, and the other a voluntary. This behavior isn't tolerated from either from anyone.

All clients are informed of their rights upon admission and are also informed what is expected from them in order for them to be allowed to stay at our facility. This includes taking medications, going to groups, respecting staff & peers. All staff also treats each client with respect.

If and when a client acts out disrespectfully and especially when it's a cluster B, or something of that nature we do our best to work things out, give the client forewarning what can and will happen if behavior happens again.

And when it does, we keep our word. If client is voluntary-not risk of harm to self or others and that has already been documented, the local police are called they come in and we already have that persons belongings ready, tell the officers what happened & person has to go. We open doors, point client out & boy are they shocked when the officer approached them & begins to escort them from our building.

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Msmedic68w is a ASN, MSN, RN and specializes in psychiatric.

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There's really nothing that can be done in an administrative sense. They are legally protected, which is why if one of them attacks you there's nothing that can be done. Sure you can file a police report but they won't get hit with charges. Same thing if a patient attacks another patient. If a charge is brought then it has to practically be attempted murder, murder or serious bodily harm (like you were stabbed and are now laying in a puddle of your own blood). It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

I work with the teenage girls and I've been called all sorts of things, it doesn't bother me. But I have ways of dealing with those kinds of patients, which is basically "Since I'm such a b***c don't ask me for anything else other than food, water and shelter. Because that is all I will do for you" And by food I mean what I am legally obligated to provide, not extra. I'm not obligated by their rights to give them much else (Well, phones calls and visits, but because of their behavior and acuity those types rarely get those anyways because no one wants to speak to or see them). And then I reward those with the good behavior. And wouldn't ya know it, about 20mins later "I'm sorry I called you that, it won't happen again" Because I have something that they want that isn't in their patient rights. Got'em.....

Edited by Msmedic68w

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RNfor918 specializes in Psychiatry.

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Is this patient focusing on one specific staff member, or is this language and verbal abuse directed towards others? I ask because I wonder if the patient has a specific issue (transference or something) with that specific staff member. Either way, the behavior is NOT acceptable. It could also lead to escalation. I would discuss the behavior with the patient and set firm limits. A staff change may also be therapeutic. If staff is being harassed relentlessly by a patient who is using such vile language, they cannot be therapeutic with them anymore either. We are all human.

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3 Followers; 4,463 Posts; 35,222 Profile Views

It is a psych unit. I understand that we have to have thick skin because of what we do. I am not so much concerned about one or two off the cuff remarks from a patient. I am more concerned about a patient targeting a staff member every day non stop. More specifically, and from a legal position as a manager am I allowing quid pro quo racial harassment if the client is allowed to verbally attack a staff member on a daily basis. The client I have in mind is more Cluster B than Axis I. I guess I probably should have published this post under legal nursing. I have been working in Psych for 15 years and I understand how we historically treated situations as these. I just wonder if it is time to push the envelope on staff rights.

You need to check with HR, your Administration, your CNO/DON, Risk Management to know what the facility's policy is on this.

Legal Nursing is about being a Legal Nurse Consultant, not the legalities on our job.

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3 Followers; 4,463 Posts; 35,222 Profile Views

I also recall that while orienting in a psych facility, during med pass, a pt with an axis I dx grabbed the water pitcher and threw the water on us while calling me an n@gg@r and calling her a "commi" (communist) this was a seasoned nurse, but after med pass, while documenting, she was crying. [emoji29] I didn't know what to do except tell her I'm sorry and ask what I could do to help-which was nothing. [emoji29]

Verbal and physical assault need to be reported to Administration and Management. Incident Report. There are legal ramifications and rights of staff, not just patients.

Managers and Admin must follow the law in protecting patients. Call the Police and make sure you get a copy of the police report. Psych patients can be prosecuted. They do not get the right to hurt others, especially physically such as you described, just because they are psych patients. They might not go to jail, but I have seen them locked up on occasion.

Talk with some employment attorneys, the ACLU, and with EEOC. You do have some rights and Management does have some responsibilities. You are not a punching bag for a psych patient. I have never met a psych pt who didn't know right from wrong. That doesn't mean they didn't have other problems, but they always know right from wrong - in my experience.

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3 Followers; 4,463 Posts; 35,222 Profile Views

at my psych ward full of murderers and rapists ( am I supposed to say " alleged" murderers and rapists?), we get verbally targeted 24/7/365. nothing is done or can be done I suppose. nothing much is done even when patients grab staff, by the throat, crotch, breasts, or spit on staff, or break staff legs etc. the administration say its part of the job, and local magistrates almost never call it assault and when staff do try to push it management pressures them to drop it. the local courts basically say its a mental patient you know where you work.

So if a judge or other court staff are hurt by these people, they know where they work, too. They have Marshalls, Sheriff's deputies, or other security to protect them.

It's not acceptable for a pt in the ER to assault staff. Why is it acceptable on a psych ward?

Our society has let the mental health issue go too far. A sick person can't be allowed to hurt others just because he or she is sick. We need to get the laws changed. Let's start contacting our legislators.

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3 Posts; 145 Profile Views

That is so true. :(

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3 Posts; 145 Profile Views

YES!!!!!

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