Sheila Wilson is President of Stop Health Care Violence and many health care workers contact Sheila Wilson with their stories.
This is Sheila Wilson’s Website for more information on the increase in Violence to the Health Care Worker. http://stophealthcareviolence.org/
This is a story from an X-ray Mammogram Technician on her experience in a situation that aggression from a patient was painful in many ways.
You may think this is not a serious situation but unless you are walking in the shoes of a health care worker you have no idea how you would feel.
So do not be so quick to judge.
Sometimes violence happens in the most unexpected places
I was doing a job I have done for 37 years and within a second. My life had a much unexpected turn.
I was stunned, needing to get myself together after what had just happened. I am lucky it wasn’t worse. It was in a split second that this patient changed her whole demeanor! One minute she was smiling and the next minute she was violent.
I am aware, that after someone has a mammogram goes home, receives a phone call to return to have a repeat mammogram the patient is very nervous. Emotions run high, thinking the worst. Should this have happened?
Here is my story:
“I am a Mammographer. I have been an X-ray Tech/Mammogram Tech for 37 years and I have been verbally abused but never assaulted until today.
I did a mammogram on this patient a week ago and she was a callback today. I explained to her as I do with all my patients’ before I touch them. The Radiologist called you back for more imaging on your right side.
The Radiologist needs a small area compressed out tighter. The patient remembered me and I remembered her from last week. She was pleasant last week and so I thought today, also until I compressed her for the second image.
Her right side was against the mammogram machine I gently compressed the area of concern with the slowness, as I compressed, I let the patient know I’m just going to compress a bit more.
Know the patients left arm is by her side. As I walked briskly by her to take the exposure she grabbed my arm I even had a fleece jacket on.
The patient squeezed my arm so tight swung me around back into the mammogram machine and screamed release me release me.
I was in shock I stepped on the pedal to release her. My arm was extremely painful. My feelings were hurt tremendously. I politely told the patient “I’m sorry but no one ever grabbed me like that before.” I’m going to step out for a minute.
I then informed my Supervisor I was assaulted. I went to the consult room my Supervisor asked what happened. The Radiologists asked what happened.
They checked my arm and saw the patients grip marks around my arm. They gave me ice, and asked me if I wanted security to escort her out?
I declined I was in shock. I just wanted to be left alone.
The patients imaging was finished and she left. I was told by the Radiologist that she was remorseful and crying.
I thought to myself it was wrong and it is not Ok!
“My spirit was broken by this aggressive patient.”
The above story by an X-ray Tech is a look into what happens when a patient becomes violent in a medical environment.
Violence is everywhere. In the United States and beyond our borders.
Surveys from Ma. Emergency Nursing Association and the Massachusetts Nursing Association write 70-80% of healthcare workers get assaulted by the patient, patient’s family or friends.
Massachusetts has a bill pending to change the MA. Law from a misdemeanor to a felony. There are presently 33 States with a Felony Law and will Massachusetts be the 34th State to have a Felony Law?
It is written that the Emergency rooms, Psychiatric Settings and Nursing Homes assault more than other places but have studies or surveys been done on residential and non-residential setting, community centers or home care settings and the many other places?
These x-ray, ultra sound, MRI, and mammogram technologist’s are behind closed doors possibly locked in these rooms by themselves with the client they are doing the tests.
Are Healthcare Workers Safe? One would wonder!!!
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