Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Documenting Violence in the Workplace

With so much violence in our daily lives, it should come as no surprise that the violent language which accompanies so many violent acts has become a part of our children's vernacular and our society's cultural landscape. People who are in physical or emotional pain do not use the kind of language you might expect to hear during high tea at Buckingham Palace. Instead, angry patients who are venting their rage will routinely say things like:

"Get your mother-fucking hands off me,
you cock-sucking, fat-assed bitch!"

Whether or not you choose to use such language in your personal life is up to you. However, there may be times when you will be forced to use such language to document a dangerous situation.

It is very possible that an angry patient may contact a lawyer and file suit against the physician who attempted to treat him. If a situation arises wherein you are verbally and/or physically threatened by a patient, you need to document exactly what happened, what was said, and the exact manner in which it was said. Documenting such circumstances is not an occasion for prudery. Use the exact same words that were spoken by the person who threatened you.

The doctor who dictates "The patient then became extremely abusive to the staff -- telling this physician that he could personally go fuck himself -- and was eventually escorted from the area by the security guard," may be using such language in his dictated report for his own legal protection.

[Consciousness Raising Exercise #20]

Next: You May Be More Vulnerable Than You Think

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