Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH)
News
June 5, 2018
MCMH nurses complain of being abused by some patients

Several nurses attached to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) are calling on persons in authority to pay closer attention to their security while working on the various wards.

The health practitioners are also calling on patients to be more reasonable when interacting with them and to realize they are humans too.

One nurse complained to SEARCHLIGHT that verbal and physical attacks are common and nurses have been kicked, struck with objects and threatened and no one has ever been held accountable.

“We have real issues, verbal and physical abuse by relatives also. We are cursed for telling persons visiting hours are over, simple things like that,” explained one nurse.

She said that they are usually attacked for things they have no control over including discharge times, visiting hours, shortage of medication and machines not working.

“This can be frustrating because some of these things are beyond our control. If we tell a patient they are too noisy, we are abused. Patients need to know that they are not always right, but some of the supervisors pick up for them,” said a nurse.

She noted that things that have been thrown at nurses include bottles, bed pans, food (including a roti), while some nurses have even been spat on.

“Persons pelt anything they have, and nobody ever got locked up. We usually forget about things that happen to us because sometimes a supervisor might tell us ignore it,” said the experienced nurse.

She said that persons have threatened nurses and in one instance a patient threatened to slash her face and she later came in contact with him outside the hospital and it was frightening.

“I think if people were not around he would have attacked me,” said the nurse who thinks that if persons are dealt with by the authorities for some of these actions, other persons will get the message and some of the abuse will stop.

She said one way of solving these issues is to have proper security on the wards, maybe a police officer, as some persons seem to have no respect for the security guards who are placed at the hospital.

When contacted about the complaints, Hospital Administrator Grace Walters said she was thankful for the information as some of the issues complained about were never reported to her.

She said these issues are supposed to be reported and also stated that she has never heard of a nurse being kicked and she is not aware of any incidents so far in 2018.

“From time to time, I usually hear things about noise and aggressive talking, but recently I have not received any complaints about nurses being assaulted,” said Walters who is encouraging staff to report all issues to their respective supervisors.

“Some of these complaints will not come directly to me, but there are reporting mechanisms that persons can report to and it will move up the chain in some instances until it is dealt with,” explained Walters.

The Hospital Administrator noted also that nurses have a code that they adhere to and they have been trained to manage certain situations.

She said that if a situation is escalating to the point where the nurse loses control, and the person creating the issue is a normal right-thinking person as opposed to a mentally challenged person, there are protocols.

“Protocols exist for everything…we can report the matters to the police,” said Walters who is encouraging staff to report any issues they may have as the MCMH will deal with it accordingly.