i was disciplined for trying to report patient abuse

by Haskell Marvin 9 min read

You suspect a patient is being abused. What should you do?

7 hours ago  · What to consider before reporting. Before reporting suspected violence or abuse, the Code says physicians should: Inform patients about requirements to report. Obtain the patient’s informed consent when reporting is not required by law. Exceptions can be made if a physician reasonably believes that a patient’s refusal to authorize reporting ... >> Go To The Portal

How do I report a patient abuse incident?

Photographs, videos, and any other evidence of the abuse are all valuable when reporting a patient abuse incident. Mandated reporters (and other reporters of abuse) remain anonymous, so the more information you can provide, the better. When a patient abuse case is reported, the case goes through 4 stages.

What should a doctor do before reporting suspected violence or abuse?

Before reporting suspected violence or abuse, the Code says physicians should: Inform patients about requirements to report. Obtain the patient’s informed consent when reporting is not required by law.

What happens if a nurse fails to report abuse and neglect?

As mandated, they are trained to identify signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect and are required by law to report their findings. Failure to do so may result in discipline by the board of nursing, discipline by their employer, and possible legal action taken against them.

Can a physician refuse to authorize a patient to report?

Exceptions can be made if a physician reasonably believes that a patient’s refusal to authorize reporting is coerced and therefore does not constitute a valid informed treatment decision. Physicians should also protect patient privacy when reporting by disclosing only the minimum necessary information.

What is the nurse's role in reporting the suspected abuse?

For nurses being a mandated reporter means that it is a nurse's responsibility to report any suspicions of child or adult abuse or neglect. If the story just doesn't fit, the nurse needs to be suspicious. If the child or adult suggest they have been abused, the nurse needs to report.

What is the best response for reporting suspected abuse?

In the case of an emergency, call 911. – If child abuse is occurring, call 911 immediately. – If you suspect or know of child abuse, call local police or child services.

What 3 types of abuse should always be reported?

The expansion of the ranks of mandated reporters was accompanied by a broadening of the concept of reportable maltreatment to include sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment, and neglect. The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) was passed in 1980.

What should you do if you witness abuse or neglect of a patient?

Discuss any suspicion of abuse sensitively with the patient, whether or not reporting is legally mandated, and direct the patient to appropriate community resources.

When you suspect abuse the first thing you should do is?

Answer. All states have a system to receive and respond to reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. If you suspect a child is being harmed, or has been harmed, you should report your concerns to the appropriate authorities, such as child protective services, in the state where child maltreatment is occurring.

Can I still make a report if I disagree with my supervisor?

If the supervisor disagrees, the individual with the original suspicion must report.

What are 3 characteristics of abusers?

Red flags and warning signs of an abuser include but are not limited to:Extreme jealousy.Possessiveness.Unpredictability.A bad temper.Cruelty to animals.Verbal abuse.Extremely controlling behavior.Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships.More items...

What is not considered abuse?

2 Physical discipline, such as spanking or paddling, is not considered abuse as long as it is reasonable and causes no bodily injury to the child. Injuries from physical abuse could range from minor bruises to severe fractures or death.

What is neglectful abuse?

'Neglect' means negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child, including the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical treatment, or supervision. Sexual Abuse/Exploitation.

What is considered patient abuse?

Patient abuse or neglect is any action or failure to act which causes unreasonable suffering, misery or harm to the patient. Elder abuse is classified as patient abuse of those older that 60 and forms a large proportion of patient abuse. Abuse includes physically striking or sexually assaulting a patient.

What are the nurse's ethical responsibilities for a client who is a victim of abuse neglect?

Under this principle, nurses have a duty to treat people with compassion and to respect the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. Victims of abuse have been violated in physical, sexual or emotional ways; nurses are expected to deliver care no matter how difficult or ugly the situation may be.

What type of abuse involves intimidating ridiculing or degrading someone?

Identity Abuse: Outing or threatening to out the partner to such people as family, boss, or neighbors. Asserting that the partner will never have another relationship because she is too ugly or too old. Blaming the abuse on the partner's identity. Ridiculing the partner's physical challenges or exploiting them.

What should a nurse do when treating a patient?

Nurses should provide a calm, comforting environment and approach the patient with care and concern. A complete head-to-toe examination should take place, looking for physical signs of abuse. A chaperone or witness should be present if possible as well.

What is the mandate of a nurse?

As mandated, they are trained to identify signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect and are required by law to report their findings. Failure to do so may result in discipline by the board of nursing, discipline by their employer, and possible legal action taken against them. If a nurse suspects abuse or neglect, they should first report it ...

Do nurses have a responsibility to care for victims of abuse?

Employers are typically clear with outlining requirements for their workers, but nurses have a responsibility to know what to do in case they care for a victim of abuse.

Should a nurse report abuse?

The nurse should notify law enforcement as soon as possible, while the victim is still in the care area. However, this depends on the victim and type of abuse. Adults who are alert and oriented and capable of their decision-making can choose not to report on their own and opt to leave. Depending on the state, nurses may be required ...

Do nurses have to be able to connect victims of abuse?

While not required by law, nurses should also offer to connect victims of abuse to counseling services. Many times, victims fall into a cycle of abuse which is difficult to escape.

How long do you have to report a patient abuse?

Mandated reporters have to report patient abuse within 24 hours of witnessing the reportable incident, and must be able to provide the following information:

How do you know if you are being abused by an elderly patient?

What are signs of patient abuse? One of the hallmark signs of elder abuse is a sudden change in an elderly patient’s physical, mental, or financial well-being. Often the change is strange and inexplicable, but the specific signs that indicate an elder might be experiencing abuse tend to vary from victim-to-victim.

What are the most common types of elder abuse?

This type of abuse includes shoving, hitting, or the inappropriate use of chemical or physical restraints.

Why is it important to develop rapport with patients?

As a caregiver, it’s important to develop rapport with patients so that they feel comfortable disclosing information to you about things like abuse. As a caregiver, you should know the most common types of abuse that commonly occur and be able to recognize signs that an elder is being abused.

Why don't elderly people report abuse?

Here are some of the main reasons why elderly patients might not report their abuse to someone trustworthy who can help: ● Embarrassment - Some forms of abuse (such as sexual abuse) come along with shame on the part of the victim, and reporting the abuse may be uncomfortable.

What are the forms of emotional abuse?

But treatment that includes humiliation, ridicule, blaming, or scapegoating are all forms of emotional abuse. Abusers will use emotional tactics such as intimidation, threats, or yelling to control the elder or they may ignore the elderly patient completely or isolate him or her from their friends or family.

What to do if you discover abuse?

If you discover potential signs of abuse, consider the predisposing risk factors that can make patients more vulnerable to corroborate your hunch. With a little rapport, some patients will openly discuss the abuse they’re experiencing with their caregiver.


For five years, I have been a skilled and experienced nurse. I had disciplinary action taken against my license in the past year, because of some poor choices and charting errors, made 18 months before in another state. The Arizona state board of nursing contacted me when the complaint reached them.

Dear Donna replies

You case is clearly complex. If I were you I would consult a nurse attorney to be sure you are on the right track. Some nurses think that consulting an attorney is an admission of guilt, but it is not. Often It is the best way to protect your interests when your license, your reputation and your livelihood are at stake.

Why report a colleague who is incompetent?

Reporting a colleague who is incompetent or who engages in unethical behavior is intended not only to protect patients , but also to help ensure that colleagues receive appropriate assistance from a physician health program or other service to be able to practice safely and ethically.

Why is medicine a self-regulated profession?

Medicine has a long tradition of self-regulation, based on physicians’ enduring commitment to safeguard the welfare of patients and the trust of the public. The obligation to report incompetent or unethical conduct that may put patients at risk is recognized in both the ethical standards of the profession and in law and physicians should be able ...

What happens if a therapist fails to take reasonable steps to protect the intended victim from harm?

“If a therapist fails to take reasonable steps to protect the intended victim from harm, he or she may be liable to the intended victim or his family if the patient acts on the threat ,” Reischer said.

Should clients withhold anything from their therapist?

“Clients should not withhold anything from their therapist, because the therapist is only obligated to report situations in which they feel that another individual, whether it be the client or someone else, is at risk,” said Sophia Reed, a nationally certified counselor and transformation coach.

Can a therapist report a patient's intent to harm someone else?

A therapist may be forced to report information disclosed by the patient if a patient reveals their intent to harm someone else. However, this is not as simple as a patient saying simply they “would like to kill someone,” according to Jessica Nicolosi, a clinical psychologist in Rockland County, New York. There has to be intent plus a specific identifiable party who may be threatened.

Do therapists have to disclose information in court?

For instance, Reed noted that even if a wife is cheating on her husband and they are going through a divorce, the therapist has no legal obligation whatsoever to disclose that information in court. The last thing a therapist wants to do is defy their patient’s trust.

Do you have to report child abuse to a therapist?

“If a client experienced child abuse but is now 18 years of age then the therapist is not required to make a child abuse report, unless the abuser is currently abusing other minors,” Mayo said.

Risk Factors For Patient Abuse

  • LaRocco (1985) states that the causes of abusive behavior can be divided into three categories: the staff member, the setting, and the patient. Some staff members involved in direct patient care are underpaid, poorly educated, and dealing with personal problems. All of these factors may play a role in how they deal with a demanding patient (LaRocco...
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  • LaRocco (1985) recommended that institutions establish environments where there is concern for patients. Institutions can show concern by having nursing and hospital administration make frequent patient contacts to assess patient satisfaction (LaRocco, 1985). In addition to making patient contacts, establishing a patient centered environment where the patient advocate is a vi…
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Prevention Strategies

  • Overall, the goal of the recommendations to institutions and staff regarding allegations of abuse (Table 1) is to prevent abuse in institutional and community settings and among all patient groups, rather than simply respond to accusations and incidents. According to the World Health Organization (2020), many strategies have been implemented, mainly in high-income countries, t…
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Patient Resources

  • If possible, patients and/or their families should first take abuse accusations to a managerial staff member at the institution where the incident took place. If they need additional help, there are many resources available, from the major organizations listed below in the United States and Canada to local groups that offer additional services and information. 1. Locator is a public servi…
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