To not tolerate being punched in the face?

(67 Posts)
featherbag Sun 17-Mar-13 18:16:12

I've just been punched in the face whilst at work (Nurse)! I'm gobsmacked! I've had the person arrested and charged, but I've been made to feel (by some colleagues) that an internal incident form would've sufficed. I disagree, I was doing my job in a professional friendly manner as always, why should this ever be thought of as an acceptable risk of going to work? I'm livid!

Bearcrumble Sun 17-Mar-13 18:18:02

You're absolutely in the right. I hope it doesn't hurt too much.

Pilfette Sun 17-Mar-13 18:19:27

I thought the NHS has a 'zero tolerance' policy re violence? Apols if you're not NHS but if you are, IMO, you did the right thing. I hope you're ok sad

SomethingProfound Sun 17-Mar-13 18:21:27

YANBU in any way shape or form, you have the right to work without fear or threat of violence, if it does arise then personally I feel you have a duty to report it, as people who behave in this manner need to be sent a strong message that their behaviour will not be tolerated.

Your colleagues should be supporting your decision, and you.

Hope your ok.

SilverSnake Sun 17-Mar-13 18:21:39

It is never acceptable to be hit. You did the right thing.

You are a nurse not a fucking punching bag. It is never ok.

Hope you feel better soon (hugs)

Floggingmolly Sun 17-Mar-13 18:21:56

Of course you were right, and when it happens to your colleagues; you can bet they'll sing a different tune. Hope you're ok.

featherbag Sun 17-Mar-13 18:22:14

I'm NHS - zero tolerance is a nice idea but doesn't often happen. Thanks for your concern, I'm fine, just really cross!

YouTheCat Sun 17-Mar-13 18:22:15

Why would it be an 'internal incident'?

Abra1d Sun 17-Mar-13 18:23:34


Flossiechops Sun 17-Mar-13 18:23:37

God feather that's horrendous, I am a nurse too and would have done exactly the same - just because you are at work shouldn't mean it's ok to be assaulted. I'm angry on your behalf, apart from the shock are you injured?

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Sun 17-Mar-13 18:23:47

hmm You have a responsibility to your more normal colleagues to see thus through . I don't give a fuck if they were in pain/on drugs/upset. We make certain allowances for these instances but we are NOT accepting this. Hope you're ok x

SpicyPear Sun 17-Mar-13 18:24:52

YANBU - it's not an internal incident, it's a serious criminal offence.

featherbag Sun 17-Mar-13 18:25:04

Not really injured, tiny bruise on my cheek but I'm honestly fine. The bruise to my pride is much bigger!

youmeatsix Sun 17-Mar-13 18:25:36

Do not let your colleagues make you feel like this, there are still PLENTY of us who admire and respect nurses completley

never ok to be hit, hope your ok, and well done for doing the right thing.

FarelyKnuts Sun 17-Mar-13 18:26:42

Of course it was assault and should be reported to the police. Are you ok? I hope you are not too badly injured?

It doesn't matter what your job is, it should not be a requirement that you be assaulted and deal with it through "internal measures" only. Though you must go through those as well of course. And be warned as a friendly word of advice, make sure you document EVERYTHING, in my experience of being in a similar situation your employer will think nothing of throwing you under a bus if it limits their liability!

EllaFitzgerald Sun 17-Mar-13 18:28:08

Good for you. The sort of people that do this sort of thing need to understand that there are consequences to their actions and internal incident forms will not teach them that. I'm surprised at the lack of support from your colleagues. Hope you're ok.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 17-Mar-13 18:29:03

Someone punched you? It's nobody else's business if you call the fucking police! That's crazy.

I hope you are OK.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 17-Mar-13 18:29:31

brew Hope you're OK feather

So... the colleagues who say that. Presumably you can punch them and then just explain to them that an accident form will suffice?

Lifeisontheup Sun 17-Mar-13 18:29:38

Hope you're ok OP, I've been kicked in the face at work (NHS ambulance) and although they say there's zero tolerance management seem reluctant to support us. It's the same for racial insults etc.

I really hope you get the justice you deserve, it's a difficult enough job without being attacked.

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 17-Mar-13 18:31:54

We have the right to work in a safe and respectful environment.

I have the right not be assaulted (verbally or physically) by a student, as would a shop worker, a receptionist, a GP or anyone else turning up and doing their job!

hiddenhome Sun 17-Mar-13 18:33:52

Oh, gosh, I'm so sorry. I'm a nurse too, but work with elderly care, so not much physical violence, but I think if anyone punched me I'd probably punch them back as an instant reaction blush

You did the right thing by reporting them and having them arrested. Violence towards people who are trying too help you is just sickening.

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 17-Mar-13 18:35:52

So sorry u had this hope u are ok. YANBU of course and ur colleagues who voted against cops are obviously morons.

Was the person NT? The only reason I ask is because if they weren't maybe that is why your colleagues thought it should be dealt with internally.

Sorry I should clarify, I used to work in a care home for adults with learning disabilities and staff were often assaulted and there was never an incident where police were called.

LastTangoInDevonshire Sun 17-Mar-13 18:41:50

I'm with bullet - clarification needed from the OP.

hiddenhome Sun 17-Mar-13 18:42:19

Well you wouldn't call the police in that case, but I do find that staff put up with far too much in the hospital environment. When my late dh was in hospital, there was a lad who physically assaulted one of the female nurses, but they didn't call the police because he had a head injury. The male nurses dealt with him after that though.

tiredemma Sun 17-Mar-13 18:44:11

We get this all the time feather bag- but we are expected to just put up with it (because the patients are mentally ill).

HillBilly76 Sun 17-Mar-13 18:50:23

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Same here tired, mental health hospital trust and we've only started taking a hard line approach and prosecuting patients in the past year. Before then we just had to put up with it.

coughingbean Sun 17-Mar-13 18:54:45

YANBU hope you are ok wine thanks

LastTangoInDevonshire Sun 17-Mar-13 18:56:34

*DrGoogle" - DO mentally ill patients understand 'being prosecuted' then? Does it help their mental illness?

LastTangoInDevonshire Sun 17-Mar-13 18:57:18

*DrGoogle - DO mentally ill patients understand 'being prosecuted' then? Does it help their mental illness and their recovery?

It depends on the person who punched you and why. If it were a confused, frightened dementia patient then yabu. A capable person just being a twat, yanbu.

hippoherostandinghere Sun 17-Mar-13 19:00:46

I think it depends who's doing the punching tbh. I'm a HCA, I've dealt with quite a few abusive patients but none who I would want arrested as they weren't in the right frame of mind to control their actions.

If it was a drunk in a&e then yes, Have them arrested. An elderly person acutely confused might also try to punch but I wouldn't have them arrested.

Last yes they do.

"Does it help their mental illness?" - I don't understand the question.

They understand that violence is not ok. They understand that police will be called in, they will be interviewed under caution and they will be prosecuted. They understand that they will most likely receive a fine or their current sentence will be extended.

Assaults on staff have reduced massively since we started doing this although the main driving force for the Trust to start doing this was to reduce staff sickness hmm.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 17-Mar-13 19:02:43

YANBU - completely unacceptable. Staff absolutely should not have to tolerate such behaviour.

LastTangoInDevonshire Sun 17-Mar-13 19:06:06

or their current sentence will be extended - are we talking hospitals or prisons here? I thought we were talking hospitals/care facilities!!

Loislane78 Sun 17-Mar-13 19:06:31

Assuming no obvious mental illness I think that's totally unacceptable and you did the right thing - and should be supported by your coworkers!

People go on about certain groups not receiving NHS treatment (smokers, obese etc.) frankly I'd start with people like that who think hitting out is somehow acceptable. I think the NHS is one of the best things about the UK and all too often key workers aren't paid enough to do a tough job and can do without some knobhead thinking they can lash out because they're angry.

Glad you're ok smile

Sugarice Sun 17-Mar-13 19:09:06

I hope you're ok.

I was in hospital in november for 3 nights. One patient had the family from hell visiting who were abusive to the staff , their manner was threatening and they refused to leave at home time telling the nurses she'd have to ' fucking fight me before you get me out the door you cunt'

The nurses had no support from management at all, it was horrendous.

aldiwhore Sun 17-Mar-13 19:09:41

I think it does depend on what kind of nurse you are. If you are a MH Nurse then I would think that sometimes the more appropriate course of action is an internal incideit process. BUT even a MH Nurse shouldn't have to expect it as par for the course... and sometimes prosecution is appropriate then too.

Glad you're okay.

aldiwhore Sun 17-Mar-13 19:10:49


Bambalam Sun 17-Mar-13 19:18:39

At risk of being a bore, you should also report this as an incident feather if you haven't already. And YADNBU to have involved the police. Are these the same type of colleagues who wouldn't pipe up if something below standard was going on? It is too easy not to challenge the status quo but you are right to.

Last definitely a hospital.

wreckedone Sun 17-Mar-13 19:30:44

YADNBU. Hubby is a doc in a&e and the amount of stuff that staff have to put up with is unbelievable. Often it goes no further than an incident form because otherwise they'd be calling the police every shift, but it's a joke. And, of course, you can't refuse to treat them.

poppypebble Sun 17-Mar-13 19:48:11

I teach in a fairly average secondary school and if anyone suggested getting the police involved for an assault by a student, your card would be well and truly marked by SLT. Doesn't look good. It is ridiculous.

However, I have also had a tooth knocked out by my very severely mentally ill sister when I tried to stop her absconding from the hospital, and reporting her to the police would have done no good at all, as she didn't have the capacity to understand what she was doing. I think it really does depend on whether or not the person was in control of their actions.

featherbag Sun 17-Mar-13 19:49:01

Quick clarification as need to get back, I'm A&E, patient was NT. I've been hurt by patients with dementia before, or with another medical condition/injury which meant they couldn't be held fully responsible for their actions, I would never report to police for that and in most cases see it as my own fault for not ducking fast enough, but this man (not elderly either!) simply punched me, for no reason, and with no warning.

BumpingFuglies Sun 17-Mar-13 19:51:13

shock OP, can understand why you are cross. I hope you are ok and can get through your shift.

Lifeisontheup Sun 17-Mar-13 20:15:22

Hope the rest of the shift is better OP.

Loulybelle Sun 17-Mar-13 20:18:40

Feather, well done for sticking up for yourself, sometimes you will get hurt by people, but they cant help it.

But there was no motive, you have the right to seek a little justice.

Corygal Sun 17-Mar-13 20:20:39

He's nasty, not nuts. Throw the book at him. '
Hope you feel better tomorrow. wine

featherbag Sun 17-Mar-13 20:54:19

Thanks for the kind words - really more cross now that the aftermath (statements etc) took me away from my patients for over an hour, placing added pressure on my colleagues. I'm determined not to let it go, I'm livid that this man (!) thought it was fine to hit me, even though I was trying to help him.

I am totally with you on this one, featherbag - it's been a while since I worked in A+E and I am sure it has not become any less difficult.
I don't think your pride needs to be bruised though - well done for not letting it go.
Any idea what possessed him??

YADNBU. If there was no medical reason causing the person to be unable to be in control of their actions (and that doesn't include being drunk/drugged) then there is no excuse and no way you should put up with being punched.

I hope he is charged and I hope you feel better wine flowers

Yfronts Sun 17-Mar-13 21:14:17

you are 100% in the right

Yfronts Sun 17-Mar-13 21:15:12

How will he ever learn if he doesn't have to take responsibility for his actions

Lueji Sun 17-Mar-13 21:21:52

You can ask your colleagues what if you had been seriously injured, taken out of action, possibly taking an hour of their time.
A punch is a punch and could have serious consequences.

YANBU at all.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 17-Mar-13 22:24:42

YANBU!! Take care of yourself. No one should tolerate being on physically attacked.

SomethingOnce Mon 18-Mar-13 01:21:21

You've done us all a favour by holding this man to account.

Hope you're feeling better flowers

MammaTJ Mon 18-Mar-13 02:00:34

in most cases see it as my own fault for not ducking fast enough

I have learnt to recognise the signs and duck quickly in these circumstances. It sound like this time there was no expectation of it or even any warning. YANBU!!

MusicalEndorphins Mon 18-Mar-13 05:18:51

I am glad he didn't injure you more than he did. I believe you were right to lay charges, and your colleagues are martyrs if they tolerate abuse. Hope the rest of your day is better. flowers

Mimishimi Mon 18-Mar-13 06:03:34

YANBU. You should absolutely report any assault to the police and have the person charged. I've heard similar horror stories from a nursing friend at my dance class.

lljkk Mon 18-Mar-13 09:20:45


I've thought about this a bit more over night and am actually more aghast at some of your colleagues not being more supportive of you having reported this assault to the police.
Hope you are not more stiff/sore today thanks

featherbag Mon 18-Mar-13 10:06:05

I'm fine thanks, got a day off so going to make the most of it, not letting another thought of yesterday intrude on my time away from the place!

pigletpower Mon 18-Mar-13 13:00:50

Poppypebble-I am also a secondary school teacher-why on earth wouldn't the police be called if you were assaulted by a student? First call would be the police and second would be my Union.

itshothere Mon 18-Mar-13 14:25:08

Poor u op.yadnbu. I'm a nurse too and fortunately never encountered such violence. Had the odd nasty uneducated type comments which can easily be ignored or out witted (depending on my mood). I wonder how your colleagues would have reacted if it were them not you? Would an internal report have been sufficient for them? Doubt it. Enjoy your day off and try not to worry about going back there, hold your head high smile .

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