Monday, 10 February 2014

Violence in healthcare take a strange turn: nurse beaten by intern for questioning his advice

Healthcare staff in China have become inured to the threat of violence from disgruntled patients and their relatives, but this week a nurse has been subject to a violent beating from an unexpected quarter - an intern in her own department.
The nurse called Li Mei (pseudonym) says she still can't make sense of what happened, but she believes it was because she expressed doubt about the medical advice provided by a new intern in her department called Dr Du Mou.
A Shaanxi newspaper reports that the nurse was working in the internal medicine department of the Railway Hospital at Lueyang, Shaanxi alongside a male intern.
The nurse gave an interview to a journalist while she was lying in bed with an obvious red welt across her swollen face. She said the young male doctor had punched her repeatedly in the face, chest and stomach and also kicked her. She said it was because she had reminded him that his medical advice for one seriously ill patient was incorrect.
"As soon as I finished speaking he hit and kicked me. I was just stunned and dizzy and left with ringing in my ears," she said.
The nurse said she was now so sick she was unable to breastfeed her one year old child.
The local police station said they had sent officers to attend the incident, but when they arrived and ascertained what had happened, they were told by hospital management that this was an internal hospital disciplinary matter and they need not get involved. The head of the department confirmed to the reporter that an incident did take place but he refused permission for media to speak to the intern involved, who was still on duty.
The hospital director said the hospital managers said they were taking the incident very seriously and treating the injured nurse as best they could. An investigation would look closely into the events and would handle the matter gravely. The intern who hit the nurse was a recent graduate from medical school who had not yet passed his one year probation period. The intern said the nurse had sworn at him and cursed his family and he had impulsively struck out and hit her just once. The manager said interns did not have prescribing rights or the authority to give medical advice without supervision form a qualified doctor. He understood the two parties gave very different versions of the incident and the hospital was now investigating.

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