Tuesday, January 20, 2015

No Safe Haven


I was thinking about workplace violence again last night
as I dealt with what seemed like my 10th irrational patient of the night
 with their unrealistic expectations about their perceived complaint
which they had been seen for in the past
and for which they had yet to follow any
of the recommendations we had given.

As they trounced out the door, calling back over their shoulder
how much the hospital sucked, the staff sucked, and how
I had treated them so badly, thoughts of going out the door
at the end of my shift to find my car vandalized,
tires flat, windows broken, or even worse
to be faced with a verbal confrontation outside of the hospital
began to fill my head.

There's a reason I don't go shopping at the local grocery store.

But, even those random thoughts that I've had from time to time
couldn't prepare me for the news headlines when I awoke
later this morning:

The Brigham in Boston.
I spent a glorious year training in the care of 
critical cardiac surgery patients.
I was a junior fellow, and I came to find out that
my senior fellow from that time was shot today.
Another example of healthcare workplace violence.

And it scares me.
It scares me to think that healthcare workers get
yelled at
menaced
assaulted
and shot
because someone didn't like the outcome, 
or the treatment plan;
whether their own or a family members.

And, that those of us who dedicate our lives to helping
and healing others might become victims because
of something that is sometimes completely out of our hands.

My prayers are with my colleague and their family.
And, my prayers are for the staff at the Brigham
who have to continue to work
despite this tragedy
which hit a lot too close to home
this morning.

**Updated at 1900 PST.  I was just informed by one of the RNs
that Mike died from his injuries.  My heart is heavy with the
news and full of sadness for his family.





5 comments:

Connie said...

My heart goes out to his family ,friends and co-workers. And to all those of you who dedicate their lives in the medical field to have to endure such abuse.It takes a special person to have the heart and dedication to care for others no matter how they are feeling ,no matter what is going on in their private lives. They set aside their life to care for us. For people to think anything but highly of these healers is unthinkable.

Julie said...

This is so sad and it does scare you.
I have been a nurse for the last 35 years. The abuse to staff has gone way up. It is usually from the patients we are footing the bill from. We pay for their care, pay for their taxi ride to come get the care they need. Try to educate them about their smoking and diabetes which they continue to use and eat wrong and then when they lose the leg or their life after everything we have done to prevent it we are the bad ones.
My heart goes out to the family and the workers at the hospital. We still show up every day even when our life could be in danger to help people who I don't think anymore can be helped.

Lori said...

I am so very sorry for your loss and the loss of a dedicated medical professional. The loss is always sad, but especially so when it's a violent cause.

Bethe said...

It a frighteningly day & age for us. My heart goes put to the family & medical associates.

ADB said...

Violence to healthcare and other emergency workers is a major topic in Europe as well. During the New Year 'celebrations' (read: national riot) in Holland, people who abuse emergency workers can expect a harsh sentence in court. My thoughts are with the friends and family of the deceased.