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How I Was Molested By A Patient – Psychiatric Doctor

The other day (HERE) we reported that workers at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba were quitting jobs because of the constant attacks they got form patients…well one of the Doctors has now given a full detail!

A member of staff of the organisation and nurse, who craved
anonymity for fear of victimisation, told Punch newspaper, “A patient bit me in many
places and tore my clothes while I was trying to help him out.

“Apart
from that, two of my colleagues were injured recently because there
were not enough guards to rescue them during a crisis. We are supposed
to have restrainers and some other gadgets because patients here can be
unpredictable.

“The frequent attacks on us by some of these
patients are making some members of staff to seek transfer to other
places. Against this back, I must tell you that we need more trained
guards to assist us to serve our patients better.”

The story of
another worker in the hospital similarly makes an interesting reading.
According to the doctor, who also sought anonymity, there was a time she
could not go to work for three months because she suffered
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occasioned by harassment from a patient.

The doctor, nonetheless, blamed her assault on the lack of enough trained security personnel in the hospital.
She
said, “Anytime I remember that experience I break down because I
suffered PTSD and could not even go back to work for three months. A
patient molested me and there was no one to defend me.

“This
patient was violent. He destroyed many things in the hospital with his
bare hands and even his actions scared other patients. While I was
trying to douse the tension and counsel his aged mother on how to handle
him, he molested me. In fact, as a result of his beating, I could not
sleep for some days.’’

Doctors at the hospital are on strike to protest against inadequate security.

The
President, Association of Resident Doctors in the hospital, Dr. Jeje
Oyetayo, also confirmed that the hazard working in the facility was
high.

According to her, two of her female colleagues were attacked in the hospital last June.

Oyetayo,
who called on the Federal Government and authorities to review the
security logistics in the hospital, said the call was to protect the
lives of workers.

She said, “Patients have attacked doctors on
many occasions in the hospital because we do not have trained security
personnel. The patients also suffer injuries when caregivers are being
rescued. This is a setback to their recovery. The government and the
authorities must address this. There are no escape routes for workers in
case of an emergency, especially when we have an aggressive patient.

“There is no functioning alarm system to alert even the few security officials for help in case of an emergency.

“The
Federal Ministry of Health needs to step in to avoid loss of lives as
well as bodily harm to health workers as well as patients and their
relatives.”

For a social worker at the hospital, the payment of
only N5,000 monthly allowance for injuries sustained in lines of duty is
ridiculous.

She said, “We went on strike to protest the hazard
allowance. It is absurd, how can you be paying us N5,000 monthly for the
risk that we take every day. Overseas, special financial consideration
is given to workers in psychiatric hospitals.

“The government must look into this. The minimum should be N30,000. It is not even enough to compensate us.”

According
to another nurse, apart from having inadequate security personnel, the
few ones on the ground are not trained to work with mentally-challenged
patients.

He pointed out that there were occasions some of the
guards took to their heels when patients went violent because they did
not have the necessary skill or gadgets to restrain them.

According
to him, security personnel were employed onlocumor contract basis,
which makes it difficult for them to get the training and exposure
needed to handle the sensitive nature of patients at the hospital.

“Many
of them on contract have been working for a year now without any
salaries. This will definitely affect their commitment to the job.”

He
noted that the hospital also had few crisis intervention officers
compared to the number of patients on admission or those that come
regularly for treatment.

“The management is not helping matters
as well because if you are not paying your security personnel, you do
not expect them to work. The update is that those who have not been paid
have stopped coming and new ones who have been recruited have not
experience.

So, when a patient is violent, the few untrained ones
would be on the edge because they do not know the next step to take.
This offers the violent patient the opportunity to run away.

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