What can be done about a patient who won't stop sexual behavior towards staff?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Farmgirl Farmgirl 2 years, 10 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Farmgirl

    Hi, I have been a nurse for nearly 20 years and work in LTC. We have a resident/patient who continually makes sexual remarks and advances towards female staff, especially what some would consider more attractive. He is alert and oriented so he is fully aware of what he is doing. He has grabbed, attempted to kiss, and has even been caught masturbating while watching some of the staff work. This has been thoroughly documented by the nurses and brought to the attention of management, with no avail. It seems to me they may be more concerned with him occupying a bed than the safety of the staff. I am almost positive if given the opportunity he would “have his way” with one of us, so to speak. Even though we go into his room with a partner, it is still very uncomfortable to feel him staring at us and what he may be thinking. I love my job, but it has gotten so bad I am considering new employment. Does someone have any advice to offer? I would love to stay there but I also do not want to ruffle any feathers with my superiors either. (Please no negative comments)

    Profile photo of HoneyRN

    This is a tough one. A lot probably depends on the physical and mental condition of the patient, but this is one of those areas that I’ve seen swept under the rug rather than be addressed. I’ve worked in LTC with a few perverted residents too.
    I did report one incident to management and they shifted around the staff to keep the resident away from the young CNA’s. When he would get fresh with me I would sternly tell him to stop being disrespectful, and since I was married, and so was he, I asked him how he would like it if a man talked to HIS wife like that. He didn’t care for that thought so much.

    Profile photo of Farmgirl

    He usually doesn’t do too much if the staff goes in with a partner. However he had caught on to this and now it makes him mad. He doesn’t say anything directly, but will start being very nasty. For example, “I want my f**king food now!”etc. Thank you, I can’t believe in all my years this is the first time I have encountered a problem like this.

    Profile photo of Salad H
    Salad H

    Here is a helpful article: http://career-advice.monster.com/in-the-office/workplace-issues/how-nurses-can-fight-sexual-harassment/article.aspx

    I would also review your facility’s protocol for sexual harassment (every facility should have one). If the supervisors are of no assistance, I would remind them of this policy. Or, if you must, go to another level of supervisor. I know, chain-of-command. But if your immediate supervisors are not helping, you need to go higher.

    I would document (in writing) each time this occurs and the exact words spoken/actions taken. Sounds like some of the nurses there are already doing this. I would also document each time that you spoke to a supervisor.

    If you are unionized, the union may help with this. If you are like many of us and not unionized…you could possibly ask your board of nursing in your state for suggestions and advice. Find your board of nursing on-line and give them a call.

    If you and other nurses/aides are constantly being sexually harassed, and even afraid of sexual assault or rape–this is a serious matter. Could equal incredibly negative consequences for the facility for not recognizing this behavior or doing anything to stop it. You do have a RIGHT not to be sexually harassed in your workplace. If your employer is doing nothing in this situation, there is a serious problem.

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