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How do I deal with sexual harassment from a patient?

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Any environment where you are working directly with others has the potential to harbor sexual harassment incidents, and the health care industry is no different. As a caregiver, you may find yourself responsible for the well-being of someone who treats you in a lewd manner. You don’t have to put up with this. Report it! Never be afraid to report a comment, action, or gesture by somebody that made you feel uncomfortable.

Here are some more tips for handling sexual harassment:

1. Tell the harasser that you do not like, do not want and will not tolerate crude behavior.

2. Document the harassment as soon as possible.

3. Remind your supervisor that this needs to be dealt with, and that you’ll elevate the issue if it’s not solved

4. Call the police if necessary.

5. These experiences can be traumatic. Look for support from friends and other nurses.

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2 Responses to How do I deal with sexual harassment from a patient?

  1. blythekd32 LPN

    i do the first option and if they do it again i request a different care giver for that patient.

  2. Ivy RN

    In 19 years as an RN, I’ve rarely run into blatant sexual harrassment by a patient, but I’d like some advice on how to deal with that ubiquitous leech…The Flirtatious Middle-Aged Visitor. Sometimes it’s the husband of a patient; sometimes a son, or just a friend. But the FM-AV can suck up huge amounts of my energy as I parry “clever” comments and attempts to monopolize my time. There’s no officially bad behavior to report, but if you get two of them in a day, it can get really tiresome. Anybody know how to handle that guy successfully, without offending the proud wife/mom/friend of his in the bed?

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