Healthcare Professionals and Self-Protection

Stay safe while at work! Remember that dangerous situations can arise anywhere!

Stay safe while at work! Remember that dangerous situations can arise anywhere!

Recently, a friend who works in the healthcare profession shared her reason for keeping pepper spray on hand while working. We believe that it is important to hear her story to understand the importance of always having self-protection products with you, whether you are at work or somewhere else.

“I have worked as a private duty pediatric nurse for 12 years. This means I go into a stranger’s home and care for their chronically ill child overnight so the parent or caregiver can sleep. People are always mesmerized by this concept. The number one question I am asked is ‘What is “wrong” with these kids to require a nurse in the home?’ While this is hardly the topic of focus, I’ll address it so we can move on. The majority of children requiring skilled nursing in the home have tracheotomies and are ventilator dependent. Having a tracheotomy makes it much harder to manage your own secretions; relying on an artificial airway means you are likely to run into problems simply because it is artificial. These kids must be watched at all times to ensure their airway is patent.

That being said, my job can be scary. I work nights in the homes of people I really don’t know! All the companies I have worked for conduct certain assessments and home checks prior to sending nursing staff to the home, but in my experience families are intentionally on their best behavior during these checks. You really never know what people are capable of until they are used to having you in their home on a regular basis.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has indicated that 48% of nonfatal occupational assaults and injuries occurred in a healthcare setting, with nurses most likely of all healthcare workers to be assaulted. I can tell you as a nurse, this is a staggering fact.

When I initially began working as a private duty nurse I received all kinds of training on self-protection and safety. I listened, but I’ll admit I didn’t necessarily believe it would ever be applicable.

Once I had been in private duty a little over a year I went to a patient home I had been in many times. I knew the family members well and I thought I was safe. Mom had just started a new job and was working graves. Shortly after she left for work dad came in the patient’s bedroom and struck up a casual conversation. After the typical small talk was over dad lingered and began moving closer. He was visibly excited and nervous and began making several inappropriate remarks. I told him I was not comfortable with his behavior and he needed to leave immediately. He remained in the room, continuing to move closer. Luckily, I had been holding my cell phone and quickly thought to dial 911. Once he realized what I was doing he left the room. I got lucky that time, but I vowed never to rely on luck again.

Finding yourself in a situation where you lack a self-defense plan is terrifying. Because I find the rewards of my job outweigh the risks, I will stay with my patients. But I will never be without a self-protection plan again. Carrying pepper spray is one of the quickest, most reliable self-protection plans this nurse will recommend.”

At Self Secure, we believe that you are worth protecting. You never know when a dangerous situation may arise; you could be at work, at school, or out with your friends. View the line of products that Self Secure Products offers and keep yourself safe.

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