I firmly believe that no employee should have to sit at work and be threatened with physical violence. While at work, I am threatened with violence against my person and family several times per week. Since I was suspended for the patient’s accusations the week before Christmas, I have been threatened at least three more times.

  • A Baker Act said that she would follow me home to see where I lived, then return to my home while I was at work to murder my entire family. She kept saying “you just wait until I catch you out in public.” I demanded that management call the cops. They did, but the police did nothing but take a report. That’s fine. At least there is a record if I have to smoke the crazy bitch at the end of my driveway. I carry nearly everywhere when I am not at work. “Catching” me outside of work and attacking me would be a critical, terminal failure in her victim selection process, but still expensive and time consuming for me.
  • The very next day, a patient came in with a complaint that aliens mutilated his genitals and he wanted them removed. When the Doctor discharged him, he said that if I didn’t let him stay, he would kill me. I had security remove him. He came back in 3 hours later and security refused to do a thing about it. Finally, four days later, he was Baker Acted and sent to a mental health facility.
  • Later that same night, a man came in and demanded to be permitted to see his wife, who had been brought in by ambulance and was off at radiology getting an X ray. I told him that she would be back in about 10 minutes, but he wanted to be taken to her NOW. I told him to have a little patience, and he replied that if I didn’t take him to her, we were gonna have a problem. I told him that if he wanted to issue threats and cause a scene, I would have security remove him. He kept yelling, so I had him tossed out.

One of the nurses that I work with told me that I have too short of a fuse when it comes to threats, and I need to understand that most people are just venting and don’t really mean it. I agree that most people don’t mean it, but how do you really tell the difference? Why should I have to? If a person has so little impulse control that they can’t stop themselves from issuing threats of death or physical violence every time something doesn’t go their way, when does it stop?

My hospital, like most employers, doesn’t permit concealed carry for employees. So what happens when one of these people who doesn’t mean it comes in and decides that they DO mean it? The one who pays the price for misjudging the idiot’s ill intent is me, but certainly not my employer.

It’s the attitude displayed by this fellow nurse that results in no one saying anything when a mass shooter turns out to have been saying all sorts of disturbing things, and people inevitably say “Why didn’t anyone report this before he snapped and killed half a dozen people?”

That’s my problem with the cop who threatened to kill me before physically attacking me. The police wouldn’t press charges because they said that the man had a medical problem and was delusional, therefore wasn’t responsible for his actions. OK, I can see that. But then why does someone who isn’t and can’t be responsible for their violent actions still permitted to carry a weapon under LEOSA because he is a retired cop?

It isn’t just my employer, it’s most employers. They have taken the attitude of “the customer is always right” to the extreme, and now we see attacks and threats by customers becoming commonplace. Why is that? Because our legal system absolves employers of liability for customers’ actions while at the same time punishing employers by making them liable for the actions taken by employees in self defense. It sets the stage for making employees more easily and cheaply being replaced than violent customers.

Categories: Gaming the Courts

10 Comments

GuardDuck · January 11, 2023 at 2:26 pm

My wife spent over a year as part of her hospital system’s violence in the workplace workgroup. She resigned in disgust. Corporate won’t ruffle any feathers to fix any problems, and can’t come to a decision even on the things they want to do. Most of her coworkers aren’t invested until they are personally injured – and then their coworkers immediately start to second guess what they did rather than blaming the person who did the injuring.

SPRN · January 11, 2023 at 3:03 pm

I will tell you what I carried in the non-permissive ER in which I worked from the mid-70’s to around 2003: a kubotan disguised as a mini mag exam light, and an easily concealed North American Arms mini revolver. None of the MANY threats ever materialized but I felt I was at least capable of bringing something to the table if they did.

D · January 11, 2023 at 3:38 pm

> One of the nurses that I work with told me that I have too short of a fuse when it comes to threats

Eeh. I don’t think so in most cases.

If you’re out on the street or on your property, you should be allowed and able to take threats seriously. If someone is screaming at you “I’m going to kill you”, you should be allowed to respond accordingly.

In medical situations, there is a fine line though. Some people *are* having medical problems that prevent rational thought–like diabetics. I’ve been hit by a diabetic who was out of their gord. Never in a million years would I think about hitting them back or killing them. Instead, my partner and I held them down, gave them D50 and they settled down. They were very apologetic when they were back in their rational mind.

Should I have been required to “take the hit”? No. But ending their life would have also been wildly inappropriate.

On the other hand, I’ve been in a situation where a patient was out of their mind, but a family member (who wasn’t suffering from a medical issue) was abusive and took a swing. Thankfully the cops were there and held him for a few hours. If the cops hadn’t been there…who knows…I probably would have been hit a few times.

There’s a fine line for defending yourself in medical situations. I do think (at the very least) medical staff should *not* be deprived of the ability to defend themselves, fellow staff members, and other patients…but just like with cops, if they were allowed to carry weapons, eventually we’d run into a bunch of cases of medical randos thinking a diabetic needs to be put down rather than given insulin.

As in most cases where the line is a little unclear, I default back to rights. It’s your right to defend yourself and to be armed in case it’s necessary.

If some medical rando uses bad judgement, he’ll have to answer to the court system. If a medical rando uses good judgement and stops a hospital shooting, they’ll be a hero.

BobF · January 11, 2023 at 4:20 pm

Same problem as a couple of wars — they all wear the same uniform as the good guys. In this case, different faces and different clothing, but a common uniform of assumed innocence, and THAT uniform is assigned by the very people you describe. I describe THEM as Karens, and that includes the cops who make excuses, too.

A kubotan seems like a great idea to me too, and how about a neck or waist chained Karambit, given the nut would probably have to be close-in anyway?

Bad Dancer · January 11, 2023 at 5:00 pm

And the people making these sitting duck policies will rarely be the ones facing the frothing jackwagon.

Where I work admin is in their own upscale building with armed security and metal detectors. The rest of us? Run, Hide, Fight.

Used to be only the truly insane or wicked would “just vent” threats because they were likely to be introduced to a fist or the street outside. Now it seems we get the bad behavior we allow. Not entirely our fault either as the system is on the side of the wicked as you’ve documented in your Zone Rating system.

During the last string of assaults and car jackings in the parking garages, their response? Inviting the police to teach a seminar on “The Hammerfist: a viable self defense technique”. Heck a security guard let in a platoons worth of protestors once because he was too busy watching Netflix on his security terminal to look up and buzzed one in when she said she left her badge inside. Held the door open and the rest ran in and occupied the lobby and elevators for most of the day.

Joe Blow · January 11, 2023 at 8:13 pm

You’re not wrong… but get a new job. Get out of the big city at least. Maybe become a veterinarian, instead?

    Divemedic · January 11, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Not in a big city. Small town. Population less than 20,000. Veterinary jobs pay about what fast food pays. No thanks.

      Joe Blow · January 12, 2023 at 11:33 am

      Damn.. thats a shame. My SIL is a NP works at one of the hospitals in Murfreesboro, TN, made bank doing ER shifts, but had similar stories. She gave it up for 3x12s in OBGYN, they’re building a new place on a horse ranch 2.5 hrs away. She commutes in for work, stays at hotel, home 5 nights per week. Said the money is the same, none of the nashvegas problems.

Grins & Giggles · January 11, 2023 at 11:36 pm

NPE just means deep-cover carrying. Also using “non-traditional” weapons.

1k bed Level 1 trauma center in TX declined to take our concerns seriously, and they have POST-certified LEOs for security. The female docs had enough and started calling local PD on patients who were violent or threatened it. The hospital PD got upset, turf war/junk yard dog pi$$ing contest – “do your job and we won’t call the police” was the response. C-suite finally took it seriously and the basic premise is – “if you wouldn’t act that way at the store, you ain’t gonna act that way here.”

Yes, some patients got upset and won’t come back – good riddance. The old phrase – “you get what you put up with” comes to mind.

Kudos to the 2 female docs who stood their ground (they even stated they’d play off on their femaleness to make their points).

Aesop · January 12, 2023 at 3:23 pm

Preach it, brother. Been in those shoes for most of 25 years.
BTW, it’s amazing what you can hide inside a pair of scrubs these days. And it’s also amazing how many “obviously medical” items have a really bitchin’ self defense aspect. And fired is way better than dead. Just saying.

I may have to do a post on legal self defense “weapons” for medical workers.

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