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Eth3.1DB - Article Example

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Eth3.1DB The presented case is that of a nurse’s assault by a patient, a common occurrence that has been reported by a number of nurses in various parts of the United States (Erickson & Williams-Evans, 2000). Peggy as a nurse is protected against assault by patients by the Violence against Nurses Law…
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Eth3.1DB The presented case is that of a nurse’s assault by a patient, a common occurrence that has been reported by a number of nurses in various parts of the United States (Erickson & Williams-Evans, 2000). Peggy as a nurse is protected against assault by patients by the Violence against Nurses Law. The law seeks to protect nurses against any form of physical attack by patients. Such attacks include being hit, pushed, bitten or spit on. The law allows for nurses to sue any patient who assaults them, regardless of their mental state (Hilton, 2010). With relation to this, Peggy has a legal right under both the civil and criminal law. It is the nurse’s right to press assault charges against the patient for the injuries sustained as a result of the attack by the patient. In case she decides to press charges, Peggy should inform the police within the shortest time possible. She should, however, first of all start by filling an occurrence report. It is also important that the nurse present a written report to the supervisor and to ensure that all details of the assault are given. The decision on whether the patient should be charged or not lies with the district attorney as well as the police who are required to fully investigate the case. This decision is based on two main aspects. One such aspect is whether the patient’s actions and ability to cause harm was predictable, while the second related to the mental competency of the patient (Morales, 2012). In case the injuries sustained by the nurse are severe or permanent then she has a right to press civil charges and seek to be compensated financially. Nurses have a right to be compensated for any injuries incurred in the undertaking of their job, provided that they were acting in accordance with the set code of practice while sustaining the injury. In this case, Peggy deserves to be compensated for the injuries she sustained from the assault. The compensation is meant to cater for any medical and treatment expenses that will be incurred as well as for any amount of wages she will lose as a result of the sustained injury to her and her unborn baby. The health can be held liable for the patient’s actions and for the injuries sustained by Peggy. One way through which they are liable is their failure to protect their staff from potential harm. Additionally, the facility can be said to have failed by admitting more patients than the facility can handle. According to the case, the patient had been taken to the medical surgical unit because there was no free bed available in the psychiatric facility. Having been suicidal, the patient may have been having various mental issues and posed a danger not just to himself, but also to others (Gamham, 2001). In this case, the facility had a duty to ensure safety, both for the patient, and for the other staff members (National  Institute  for  Occupational  Safety  and  Health, 2002). The psychiatric unit is specially created to ensure that patients likely to cause harm to others or to themselves are prevented from causing that harm. Additionally, the nurses and other personnel working in this unit are well trained in handling the patients they receive; hence, they take all precautionary measures to ensure that both they and the patients are safe. Some of the facilities and equipments available in the psychiatric unit may not be available in other units of the hospital, while at the same time, nurses and staff members working outside the psychiatric unit may lack the knowledge and experience on how to deal with psychiatric patients. With regard to this, admitting the patient in the medical surgical unit exposed the nurses within that unit to harm by the patient. Another reason why the facility can be found liable for the occurrence is their failure to inform Peggy of the presence of the patient in the medical surgical unit. Peggy had a right to be informed of the patient’s admission in the medical surgical unit and of the patient’s condition of illness. She should have been informed if the patient posed any harm to her or to other staff members within the unit. By acquiring such information, then the nurse would have been aware of the possible reaction of the patient, and in turn been more careful with how she interacted with the patient. References Erickson, L. & Williams-Evans, S. (2000). Attitudes of emergency nurses regarding patient assaults. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 26 (3): 210–215. Garnham P.  (2001).Understanding and dealing with anger, aggression and violence. Nur sing Standard, 16(6), 37?42 Hilton, L. (2010). New York Law Makes Assaulting a Nurse a Felony. Retrieved from Morales, K. (2012). Nurses as Assault Victim: When You Are Injured by a Patient. Retrieved from Article/itemId/1530/Nurses-as-Assault-Victim-When-You-Are-Injured-by- .aspx#.UUhB-Remgt8. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2002). Occupational Hazards in Hospitals: Violence. NY: Department of health and Social Services. Read More
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