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Man convicted of common assault
threw a wet wipe


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#1 bakesgirls

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:20 PM

http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2013/0...court-news.html

I must admit I was pleased to read of this. As a nurse, I'm all too used to being treated like crap when I am trying to do my job. Last time I was assaulted, I was 22 weeks pregnant and was punched in the face by a patient who was annoyed that I didn't answer his buzzer the second he pressed it, due to the fact that I was with another patient.

#2 CupOfCoffee

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

I agree with what the nurse said in the article... there needs to be zero tolerance on violence and abuse towards our health care professionals.  (Zero tolerance to anyone, but it seems that it happens daily in our hospitals).

#3 BetteBoop

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

It seems his general threatening behaviour might have had something to do with the ruling but that doesn't sell papers so "convicted for throwing a wet wipe" is the headline.

And I agree with it. There should be zero tolerance for violence directed at health professionals and police.

#4 9ferals

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

I was prepared to say that's a bit extreme, but it looks as though he was verbally abusive, aggressive and had lost control to the extent where he "forgot" that he even threw anything.
And he "admitted he raised his voice and gave her a firm "dressing down" about her attitude"

Good. I'm glad that people aren't allowed to get away with being aggressive and abusive in public and especially in a place where they are going for assistance.

#5 smc81

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

I'm surprised that any kind of abuse or assault etc towards health professionals wasn't treated the same as if it was done to a police officer. These are people that are caring for others, and should be given the respect they deserve. It should be a blanket rule for fire, ambulance, SES workers as well.

OP, that is a terrible thing to have happen to you.

#6 Niamh23

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:48 PM

QUOTE (smc81 @ 25/01/2013, 02:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm surprised that any kind of abuse or assault etc towards health professionals wasn't treated the same as if it was done to a police officer. These are people that are caring for others, and should be given the respect they deserve. It should be a blanket rule for fire, ambulance, SES workers as well.


I'd add teachers to that list.

#7 CallMeFeral

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:55 PM

Sounds like the charge was more about his abusive behaviour than the wet wipe.

I also agree there should be no tolerance of abuse to these professionals.
However I do think it was quite mean spirited of her to bin his apology note. How many of these idiots actually apologise - seems a really ungracious response, it's a stressful situation for the relatives of the sick people too.  

My dad is in his late 60's and a railway guard, and got randomly punched in the face by some twit sad.gif  The railways are really crap at chasing this stuff up though, so didn't really bother trying to even identify the guy  rant.gif

#8 Feral_Pooks

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

Throwing a wet wipe is a bit gross, who knows if it is dirty or whatever. Ew.

Hospitals can be tense places for people, I can understand people getting cranky if they a really upset and getting cut off by the nurse. I also understand the nurse was probably very busy and hears and sees these sorts of things all day long so it's hard to stay 100% respectful. I do think there should be zero tolerance to assault, I'm not excusing his behaviour by any means.

However I also think that in order to reduce these events, we need to improve resources for hospitals.

#9 epl0822

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

The wet wipe itself isn't the issue. Can you imagine being at work doing your job and somebody screams abuse at you and throws something at your face? In a public area where there are other colleagues and clients watching? That is so degrading and humiliating. When you work in an environment where your colleagues are treated with abuse and disdain on a regular basis, I can see why the nurse was scared. She had no way of knowing whether the man's outburst was going to end there or with a knife.

#10 purplekitty

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

QUOTE (CallMeProtart @ 25/01/2013, 01:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I also agree there should be no tolerance of abuse to these professionals.
However I do think it was quite mean spirited of her to bin his apology note. How many of these idiots actually apologise - seems a really ungracious response, it's a stressful situation for the relatives of the sick people too.
She was probably still traumatised and continuing to deal with a queue of worried and distressed people she was triaging.
I don't blame her.

#11 MrsLexiK

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

QUOTE (Pooks_ @ 25/01/2013, 03:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Throwing a wet wipe is a bit gross, who knows if it is dirty or whatever. Ew.

Hospitals can be tense places for people, I can understand people getting cranky if they a really upset and getting cut off by the nurse. I also understand the nurse was probably very busy and hears and sees these sorts of things all day long so it's hard to stay 100% respectful. I do think there should be zero tolerance to assault, I'm not excusing his behaviour by any means.

However I also think that in order to reduce these events, we need to improve resources for hospitals.


I agree with this, I would like zero tolerance towards anyone though.  Not jsut police, health workers and teachers but anyoone who is going about their day (or night) and is suddenly abused the person doing the abuse should be shown no remorse.

#12 ~sydblue~

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:40 PM

Lets just say anyone who assaults anyone else should be charged.

#13 ednaboo

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

Wow - they really did make an example of him.  Over the years I have been hit, shoved, slapped in the face, had medication spat down my front, my hair pulled and worst of all groped in the groin.  I have had two guys threaten to kill me (they wre really scary too), plus all sort of other verbal abuse.  But I work in mental health and these patients were all either suffering psychosis or dementia, so never got reported to police.  It's high time this stuff was treated seriously.

#14 lucky 2

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

Excellent outcome, I hope it happens more and more.
It is handled pretty well where I work. I haven't had anything more than a raised voice and mild intimidation for years. But in the past I've seen a nurse being strangled and hit, I've been hit, hair pulled, screamed at, man running at me screaming and holding a knife (we didn't know at the time it was a bread knife!) etc etc. But most of the physical stuff has happened with older patients with dementia, including the bread knife incident.


#15 Niamh23

Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

QUOTE (~sydblue~ @ 25/01/2013, 03:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lets just say anyone who assaults anyone else should be charged.


Well, yes, but there are some professions which are more liable to assault from members of the public. It really needs to be made clear that this will not be tolerated. Just because you/a family member is in the hospital, does not give you the right to take out your frustrations on staff.

#16 Lightning_bug

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

I don't know, what is the appropriate action when a family member is potentially dying and the person you approach who is supposed to help doesn't give a hoot and tells you to go away?

Yes, I do think assault is unwarranted and charges are justified.  And it's not right to take out your frustrations on them.  But it goes both ways.  Had she been polite and considerate and done her job rather than taking her frustrations out on him, it may very well have been a different situation.

Some people, equally, shouldn't be in that particular profession.  They're rude, arrogant and lazy.  But they're allowed to be.

But they're so desperate for staff they'll take anyone and forgive any action or incompetence.

#17 HRH Countrymel

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:25 PM

QUOTE (Lightning_bug @ 26/01/2013, 04:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Had she been polite and considerate and done her job rather than taking her frustrations out on him, it may very well have been a different situation.



Where on earth did you read in that article that she had been 'impolite, inconsiderate and incompetent'?  In what way did she 'take her frustrations out on him?'  

I failed to read that anywhere at all in the article?

All I read was that a man threw an almighty tantrum in a busy A&E department, verbally abused a person doing their job and had his behaviour (which was on video)  recognised by a court of law to be so reprehensible that they recorded a conviction and fined him?


If you are sorry that his little apology note was thrown in the bin unread - again by someone who is BUSY at a workplace where people's lives are at risk - not their feelings, their lives. - I think you may need to gain a little perspective.


Say 'I'm sorry' doesn't actually make what you did not exist.   Of course he should be sorry.  He was also criminally responsible.





#18 raven74

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

I'll never forget a few years ago when I was admitted via Emergency (so spent the night on the A&E ward) for appendicitis.  I had an IV inserted in the crook of my elbow which is a really rubbish place for a canula.  Every time I moved it kinked and set of the machine that goes "bing!"
  There was no doc around to re-seat it in my hand.  The nurse I had was SO grumpy about the machine going off, about the IV placement, telling me how ridiculous it was and how difficult it was going to make her shift.  She was actually quite aggressive.  Se ended up strapping my elbow to a hard board to keep my arm straight.  That was, after about an hour, extremely uncomfortable.  She came yet again to address the issue and I  asked her if she was having a difficult night, and was it hard being an A&E nurse?  
The poor woman sat with me for 15 minutes talking it out.  She had been verbally abused (which I witnessed - a stupid woman, also with appendicited was shirty because she was hungry and not allowed to eat), physically threatened and was just so tired of it.  My IV issues were enough to drive her to madness on a very busy night.  
Given what she had to go through almost every shift she worked, I think they need to crack down on abuse in hospitals.  This woman was mentally and emotionally fatigued by it and no-one deserved that added pressure in an already stressful job.
She did become my "lovely" nurse after that chat though - we had a few laughs over the course of that very long night biggrin.gif

#19 BeYOUtiful

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:37 PM

Is Lightning Bug referring to this?
QUOTE
told the court his nephew had just been rushed to the hospital in a diabetic coma but when he fronted the triage counter Ms Ollis was "rude", "disrespectful" and cut him off mid-sentence to tell him to line up at another window.


It doesn't excuse his aggression - verbal and physical.

Edited by ~Jane05~, 26 January 2013 - 03:38 PM.


#20 Ducky*Fuzz

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE
In sentencing, Magistrate Johnstone said legislation should be changed so that assaulting a health professional drew the same penalties as assaulting a police officer.


I agree. Same should apply for teachers who are assaulted or threatened with assault - physical or verbal.  No-one deserves to be treated in that manner.


#21 BetteBoop

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:50 PM

QUOTE (Lightning_bug @ 26/01/2013, 03:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Had she been polite and considerate and done her job rather than taking her frustrations out on him, it may very well have been a different situation.


I don't think you can speculate either way.

Some people get aggressive and abusive when they're distressed. It doesn't matter what you do or how you interact with them. Getting angry is their coping mechanism.

Perhaps it might have gone differently, perhaps it might not have. What we do know as fact is the way he behaved was deemed illegal and violent. Even if she was impolite or inconsiderate, screaming abuse and throwing things is not a reasonable reaction. I doubt her behaviour had that much to do with it.

#22 HRH Countrymel

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

QUOTE (~*MESS*~ @ 26/01/2013, 04:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree. Same should apply for teachers who are assaulted or threatened with assault - physical or verbal.  No-one deserves to be treated in that manner.


I was held up by the throat (feet off the ground) had my head bashed against a brick wall and had obscenities yelled in my face by a high school student  - it was in the hallway and I had my whole class of younger students lined up waiting to go in... many of whom were in tears at the event.  (I actually received a phone call from a Mum that evening who had been forced to call me by their 12 year old who needed to know if Miss Countrymel was OK before she could go to bed.. her Mum said she was still shaking about what she'd seen 2 hours after she'd got home)

The student?  He got a ONE DAY suspension.... extended to 3 for running away from the principal's office.
(yes this particular principal seemed to think that running away from his office was twice as bad as assaulting a 22 year old female teacher.???)

My neck was still bruised when he was back at school...



#23 ~sydblue~

Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

The kid in that case countrymel, should have gotten a long suspension.
I have seen kids get physically assaulted by teachers(not as bad as your case) and nothing happens to the teachers but a slap on the wrist. There is one case I know of where a teacher sexually assaulted a student, but because the wrong date was put on the report the teacher got off and is back teaching at another school.

#24 EsmeLennox

Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

Yes, teachers have little recompense against violent students.

I tend to think that the situation in the article must have been pretty significant because IME (admittedly limited to my own couple of visits the the ED and those off children) nurses and doctors put up with a lot from some patients and their families and do their best to diffuse the situation before it would ever get to the point of charges being laid. So I think the fact that charges we laid speaks volumes.

That said I have also been on the receiving end of snarky nursing staff, that can also be not pleasant. On one occasion the triage nurse clearly thought I was being an overly dramatic mother and she was incredibly rude and dismissive, apparently there was nothing overly dramatic about me though because my child was admitted to hospital and stayed there for 3 days. I do think sometimes the attitude of staff can provoke a negative response, it doesn't, however, excuse poor behaviour and assault. I have certainly seen occasions where teachers have baited students and then cried foul when the kid loses the plot.

Edited by Jemstar, 26 January 2013 - 04:44 PM.


#25 purplekitty

Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:51 PM

QUOTE (Lightning_bug @ 26/01/2013, 03:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know, what is the appropriate action when a family member is potentially dying and the person you approach who is supposed to help doesn't give a hoot and tells you to go away?
The way I read it is the nephew was rushed to hospital separately and he had just arrived and wanted to see him.
He did 10 mins. later so there was little delay. His nephew may well have been being treated at the time so he may not have been able to go in anyway.
The video evidence was obviously damning.
Get a job where being threatened and abused is considered an occupational hazard and come back and tell us about it.

It wouldn't just be distressing for the staff but for any patients in the waiting room.There should be a no tolerance policy.





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