The first time I was assaulted by a patient, I was told that I was not allowed to call the police.
I was a new graduate. I don’t think I had been a nurse for longer than three months at the time. The patient was alert and oriented, and angry. I was pretty insistent that I wanted to press charges. I was told it was against hospital policy.
I have blogged about violence against healthcare workers before. However, I would like to mention the lack of ‘zeal’ by the authorities to prosecute such cases. Assaulting a police officer is prosecuted with way more regularity. Why are we less important?
The Emergency Nurses Association is a huge advocate for staff safety. Penny Strachan-Blake is a member of Show Me Your Stethoscope, and an active member of the Florida ENA. She encourages getting existing legislation changed rather than reinventing the wheel.
I challenge you to find out what your state’s laws are. I would love to know if they are enforced. I think this is something we need to address. This year. I don’t think we can afford to wait.