When Nurses Hit A Wall: Nurse Charged With Hitting 8-Month-Old ChildUnfortunately, the news of nurses abusing patients is a harsh reality. Further, when an eight-month old baby is assaulted by a nurse, many issues rise to the forefront. Read the full story here.

What happens next is clearly defined. Legal consequences must be enforced. The family also has rights to pursue against the nurse. The tragedy continues when injuries affect the child’s life.

The fallout from such incidents deserve thorough discussion. However, the purpose of this article is to addresses other significant points of interest. 

When an abusive incident occurs, many questions surface. Was this the first time this nurse committed abuse? How did their piers respond? How did it come to this?

What factors contributed to the nurse’s inability to handle the situation professionally?

3 Things to Analyze

  1. Once... should be the last. 
    What else happened at the moment the assault occurred? Stories have come forth that a nurse who hit a child or older person, had a history of hitting other patients. That means that someone witnessed assaults. Then, either the incidents were not reported or no consequences were served. 
    No matter how awkward the situation may be, all reports must be addressed. First offenses cannot be overlooked, or subsequent abuse could happen.
    This does not assume that everyone who has assaulted a patient will do it again. It does mean that they may have limited stress management skills, a history of learned behavior prior to becoming a nurse, or there are other extenuating factors. It does mean that, at the very least, counseling to assist the nurse to learn how to change their behavior must occur.
  2. Nurses are human.
    I have had personnel who demonstrated even keel emotions no matter how intense the situation. Then when they became overtired, or significantly stressed, their anger and emotions escalated out of control.  This can easily lead to actions or reactions that they may not otherwise do. Then regrettable events cannot be reversed.
    Changes in behavior include heated tone in their voice, over reaction to persistent patient needs, or becoming demanding toward other staff members. These signs may preclude an assaultive action. Staff can assist each other by looking out for escalating behavior that could potentially result in an incident. Trainings are offered watching for patients who are demonstrating signs of behavior out of control. The same examples are common for all people.
  3. The real place to start.
    I cannot imagine nursing school being anything less than stressful. Learning stress management as a basic nursing skill must start with as the first class. Then, nursing instructors need to demonstrate stress management in every clinical practice setting. Why is this so vital? Instinct may be a reason why a nurse may hit an eight-month old baby. Training to react when a specific situation occurs can prevent the unthinkable incident from happening.

How To Be Prepared For Such Settings

  1. Learn to take a deep breath.
    It’s not always possible to excuse one’s self from a floor. But breathing is always necessary. Train yourself to take that deep breath when emotions start to take over your actions.
  2. Be honest. 
    If you are at your limit emotionally and physically, do not try to climb a mountain. Let your supervisor be aware of your concern.
  3. Watch others.
    Remind them to take a deep breath.

The Final Thing To Remember

It is difficult to learn consistent stress management and never lose control of your actions. But serving out the consequences of ruining your reputation, losing your job and nursing license are more difficult. The ultimate punishment is, without a doubt, knowing a little person has been avoidably damaged by someone the parents trusted with his care. That is always the ultimate reason to be motivated and prompt others how important it is for nurses to accept their responsibility for the safety of their patients.  

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