I had something happen on a call today and it infuriates me. Someone please explain to me how someone can assault a law enforcement officer, and they get the book thrown at them. Yet, someone can do the same to a health care provider, but nothing happens to them. Please, someone explain what the difference is.
I went on an overdose call today and found a man barely responsive. We took him out to our ambulance and when I started to assess him, he woke up. He punched me in the face, knocking my glasses off in the process. I’m not sure what angers me more, the fact that he hit me in the face, or the fact that I didn’t see it coming. I’m usually very good about dodging fists and feet, but not today.
In my twenty year career, I’ve been bitten, punched, kicked, nearly stabbed, and even had someone who was HIV positive spit blood in my face. Yet, charges are never filed and they get away with it. But, if I was a law enforcement officer, they would be appropriately charged. Please don’t take this rant as I’m bashing law enforcement, because I’m not. We couldn’t do our job without them. But the combative patients get away with murder against a healthcare provider. If anything, I think people should be charged more heavily since we don’t carry weapons that can be used to protect ourselves.
You here about healthcare providers being assaulted around the country without charges being filed. In my past experiences I’ve been told the courts either plea bargain down the charge or drop it all together since the people aren’t in their right frame of mind, so why file charges? My question is aren’t the people that are high on drugs or drunk that assault police officers charged? I’ve seen it on more than one occasion.
Healthcare providers need more protection. I think it would be fair for us to carry pepper spray or even tazers. Then, we could protect ourselves. Thankfully I train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and can handle myself with close quarters combat, but not all of the healthcare providers out there do the same as I do.
We need to protect our healthcare providers! That’s all I have to say about that!