Today’s blog discusses what happens if a nurse is attacked by a patient. This has unfortunately been an ongoing problem the last couple of years. There are parameters that have been put in place by the legislature years ago that signed a bill into law under Governor McCrory. It is a felony for any patients to not only assault a nurse, but any hospital staff on hospital property. It’s great that somebody can face those types of repercussions, but at the end of the day, it really doesn’t do any good for the nurse or any medical professional at the period of time that they’re being assaulted.
What is the nurse, or any other medical professional supposed to do if somebody is attacking them? When a patient flips out and throws a punch or pushes or something along those lines, the medical board and the nursing board obviously take these things extremely seriously. If a coworker were to file a complaint with one of the boards, there will be investigation into it and there will be determination whether the nurse or the medical professional has done something that would be an ethics violation. The first thing that any medical professional will do, and we’ll take nurses for example, they would need to contact security, their charge nurse or any other supervisor that might be on their floor. They should not in any way, shape, or form act aggressively to the person. They should double check and make sure before any of this happens when they come onto the shift, and double check anybody’s orders when they take the patient on from the previous nurse. If there’s an order for restraints in there, then that could be a solution to the issue. There’s going to need to be more than one person that helps in this situation. So, the main thing to consider is don’t strike back. If there is an order for restraints, then that can be something that can be used on the patient. You need to notify charge nurse supervisors, anybody else on the floor that can potentially assist you. Nobody’s expecting anybody to just take a beating, so distance yourself from the space immediately. Get security immediately and get help from charge nurse. Double check to make sure restraints are still ordered for that patient. If that’s the case, then that could be an option for you if needed.