Nurses and health professionals in psychiatric units face violence on the job. No one wants to stigmatize the mentally ill -- and that's the part of the awkwardness in these kinds of topics. But, there are people who, either because of delusions or intoxication or drugs or some vicious combo lash out at the people trying to help them. Patients and their families in all parts of a hospital can pose a threat to healthcare workers.
Psych nurse Jean McFadden, 61, of Wilmington, said she's seen so much violence, although she's never been punched herself. "I haven’t taken a hard beating," said McFadden, who works with troubled children and youth at Crozer Chester Medical Center in Upland on the edge of the city of Chester. "I've gotten bruised, mainly pinched." McFadden was one of a group of nurses I interviewed for a story in Wednesday's Philadelphia Inquirer about violence in the healthcare workplace. You can read it by clicking here. I also blogged a little about on Wednesday. Click here to read the previous post.
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals held a daylong session on the issue.
In McFadden's unit, the young kids provoke the older ones and trouble ensues. One time, there was a strong young man with Downs syndrome who managed to bite three of her co-workers before he was restrained, she said.