04 June 2009


Anyone who follows me on twitter will be aware that I often work on Friday nights. 

They will also know that recently I was being punched by a patient... fairly frequently.

Now a few slaps and pushes I can cope with. I'm made of fairly strong stuff and can usually hold my own.

But this wasn't an A&E shift on an alcohol fuelled friday evening.

This was a 70 year old man with advanced dementia. He also happened to have an impressive right hook.

The doctor had been reluctant to write him up for anything because every time he had passed us, the patient was sitting quietly while I was reading Angels and Demons. Sadly though, this was only for incredibly brief periods.

It was only when the doctor saw him slap me around the face and call me a f**king bitch that he reevaluated. 

My patient slept for the rest of the night. 

Does anyone want to re-evaluate their previous comments?

1 comment:

Louise said...

Sometimes medication isn't the best option, there have been a number of reports that have come out over the past few months highlighting the negative impact that some drugs used to calm those with dementia can have on both their physical and mental functioning.

Caring for those with demetia is a challenging job and as someone who both care for those with dementia and has had a loved one with dementia, I have the scars to prove it. Aggression is often as a result of an unmet need, if you put yourself in their position how would you feel? You are in a strange place, with strangers all around you and you can not work out what is happening and why, maybe you believe you need to be at home with your family or you are not tired but can't work out why everyones telling you to go to bed because you have no concept of the time, or you are scared because people are doing personal things to you which you are not comfortable with and can't work out why. Or maybe you are in pain and can't verbalise to people the fact.

Sometimes the right staff apprach can make all the difference to a person with dementia, a gentle calming manner, lots of ressurance and if you feel comfortable with it lots of cuddles. I am not critising the care you give merely commenting on things as I see it.