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Old 09-09-2007, 11:49 PM
MyOwnWoman
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Default Tazors

Recently I've read a few blogs about health care professionals being able to use tazors to control patients. At first I was surprised because that idea has never been mentioned at the hospital in which I work. In fact, I thought perhaps it may be a bit barbaric to use in the ER, eventhough I've seen some pretty violent characters cross my path.

Recently, the hospital has gotten rid of our security and brought in a more cost efficient security that, I'm sad to say, are not trained in criminal assaults and are pathetically out of shape.

Today, we had such a patient. A young, strong man who was not "in his right mind." He was violent. He was suicidal and he tried to strangle himself in the room with his own belt (which he should have never had in the room in the first place.) I immediately opened the locked door to take the belt from him but he instantaneously removed the belt and held it out as if to hit me with it. I stood my ground and tried to explain the "protocol" to him but he was hearing none of it. Time was over to rationalize and it was now time to act.

It took 2 security guards, 4 male nurses, 2 offical police officers from outside the hospital, 2 female staff, 5mg of Haldol and 2mg of Ativan and leather restraints to finally ease his anger.

When I turned to leave the room he said, "you'll really get a laugh out of this later, won't you. This is all so funny isn't it." What he didn't realize, and I told him was that restraining someone is one of the saddest parts of my job. To have to control someone by extrenuous means because they can not control themselves saddens me." He didn't care what I had to say; and I'm sure he didn't believe me.

But.........I have to admit. A tazor would have prevented so many people tied up in a room with the potentional to get injured.

So, can anyone tell me what the 911 is on tazor use in the ER?
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MyOwnWoman View Post
Recently I've read a few blogs about health care professionals being able to use tazors to control patients. At first I was surprised because that idea has never been mentioned at the hospital in which I work. In fact, I thought perhaps it may be a bit barbaric to use in the ER, eventhough I've seen some pretty violent characters cross my path.

Recently, the hospital has gotten rid of our security and brought in a more cost efficient security that, I'm sad to say, are not trained in criminal assaults and are pathetically out of shape.

Today, we had such a patient. A young, strong man who was not "in his right mind." He was violent. He was suicidal and he tried to strangle himself in the room with his own belt (which he should have never had in the room in the first place.) I immediately opened the locked door to take the belt from him but he instantaneously removed the belt and held it out as if to hit me with it. I stood my ground and tried to explain the "protocol" to him but he was hearing none of it. Time was over to rationalize and it was now time to act.

It took 2 security guards, 4 male nurses, 2 offical police officers from outside the hospital, 2 female staff, 5mg of Haldol and 2mg of Ativan and leather restraints to finally ease his anger.

When I turned to leave the room he said, "you'll really get a laugh out of this later, won't you. This is all so funny isn't it." What he didn't realize, and I told him was that restraining someone is one of the saddest parts of my job. To have to control someone by extrenuous means because they can not control themselves saddens me." He didn't care what I had to say; and I'm sure he didn't believe me.

But.........I have to admit. A tazor would have prevented so many people tied up in a room with the potentional to get injured.

So, can anyone tell me what the 911 is on tazor use in the ER?
Well, this is the first time I've heard of this! Our security system is essentially useless and if we have a major issue we call the local PD to help us.

I wonder what the legal ramifications of this would be.
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:56 AM
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Oh my God. I don’t even want to think what the ramifications would be if we start using tazors on hospital units. Can you imagine Joint Commission’s reaction? And then there’s NAMI. The whole thing would be a nightmare.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:14 PM
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I can think of some senior management I'd like to use them on! But patients - seems like a legal minefield amongst other things!!
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:27 PM
Marachne
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I came really close to having a very dangerous Tazer situation on my unit and I was furious!

First some background: while I work for the VA, and we have our own police (real police, not security), I work in our LTC facility which is NOT in the same place as the hospital -- it's across the river, state line and about 5 miles from the hospital.

We had a patient: older (late 60's), multiple morbidities renal failure, pain, (he had fallen from othostatic hypertension while transferring to a table for an x-ray and fractured some vertibrea) lytes got out of whack (didn't know the last part until later -- K+ of 7!) An aide was doing peri-care on him, the patient was talking, joking...and suddenly the patient hit the aide on the back of the neck with his remote control. Aide comes out of the room, another nurse tries to calm him down and he threatens her with his dinner knife and fork.

We realize he has to be transfered to the hospital and that he is having a severe change of mental status--our first guess was opiate toxicity from the pain meds, but he's paranoid and not letting anyone near him. We call our police, who tell us that if we want to transfer him and he refuses to go, they have to call the local municipal police in because he will be leaving our campus and the VA police no longer have jurisdiction.

The city police show up, and they've got they hands reaching for their Tazers! Luckily, we got the patient calmed down enough to agree to go along, but I hate to think what would've happened to this man if he'd been tazered. With the critical K+ level, and a history of CAD, he probably would've had an MI.

We kept saying to the officers that this was not an intrinsically dangerous person, that he was delusional, etc., etc...the fact that they seemed to have had no training in how to deal with medically fragile people who are behaving irrationally scares me to death.

Of course, I discussed this with my superiors who said that it was something that needed to be addressed....and as far as I know, nothing has happened.

Hmmm, between this and a recent really tough case of delirium, I have the makings of a good post over on my blog...
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:34 AM
jojodow
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My gosh! That man would've had an MI.

Tazors have no business in a hospital and should never be used on a patient.

I've worked with violent patients. You can do without them!

I was once apart of a 6 member team of nurses and cnas with security standing at the door trying to get a patient into 4 pt restraints to keep him from hurting himself and others.
In the end, no one got hurt and the patient was discharged. Sure it lots of time and manpower was spent on one patient but the end result was good.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:12 AM
PixelRN
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I agree, Jodi. There is no reason that tazers should be used in hospitals.

As for unruly ER patients - leave that to security. That's what they are trained for.

(Easy for me to say though. MICU patients tend to be perpetually gorked and so not even remotely appropriate for tazering.)
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:11 PM
Polaris
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I can't imagine a tazor elevating to the status of being a common tool of ER nursing. That frightens me to think of a tazor in the hands of some of the nurses I know. (((shudder))))

Now I do believe they have a place in law enforcement. Is their use perfect? Absolutely not. But I believe they are a useful tool for LEO's.

But not in the ER.
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:25 PM
MyOwnWoman
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What if staffing got the tazors.........then asked you...... You ARE working overtime, aren't you?
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