Being Whacked

Having been thumped a few times, and once even bitten by a demented 97 year-old, I can sympathize:

An emergency room nurse is calling for more security at hospital emergency rooms after she was assaulted by a patient.

Kandis Feener works as an ER nurse at Victoria General Hospital. Earlier this month, she was trying to manage an elderly female patient when the woman became violent. Feener suffered a broken nose and two black eyes.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says it is launching an internal review of the incident and says security will be a part of it.


A recent Statistics Canada report showed about a third of nurses in Manitoba said they had been physically assaulted by a patient in the past year. Almost half of nurses reported being emotionally abused.

I am not clear what exactly can be done to end the problem, short of physically restraining any patient deemed to be prone to violence, which is plainly not acceptable for any number of reasons. Unfortunately, the fixes — additional staff training, more security, more observers — which would reduce (but not eliminate) the incidence of abuse cost buckets of money and I think would have very low priority on management’s radar in any case.

And to indulge in a little pre-Christmas sour snarkiness, does anyone want to take bets the “internal review” will attempt to place blame on the assaulted nurse?


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  1. #1 by Maha on Tuesday 22 December 2009 - 0247

    I’m going to bet $10 that the nurse is going to blamed in the end.

    Confused elderly people can throw some nasty kicks and punches. Least restraints is all nice and dandy but not if I risk having a few teeth knocked out at work. Don’t love my job THAT much.

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