I know what you’re thinking. You think that this nurse is clueless, and that she is about to be attacked. But do you see the smile on her face and the twinkle in her eye? Mr. Criminal doesn’t know it yet, but all hell is about to break loose. Security officers are about to storm the unit, and Mr. Criminal is going into four point leather restraints.

Nurses may be angels of mercy, but we have no problem setting aside our halo and wings when we are being attacked. Believe me, the kid gloves come off when someone tries hitting a nurse. Psychiatric nurses are pros at kicking some serious butt, and we have no problem with giving copious amounts of Haldol to a violent patient while we are putting them into restraints. Personally, I will do whatever it takes to de-escalate a situation before it spins out of control. I’ll spend lots of time talking to patients, and I try to understand what they need to help them regain control of their behavior. I do this for many different reasons. First and foremost is the issue of safety. Takedowns are extremely dangerous for everyone involved. I’m too old to rumble, and I don’t want my patients to get hurt. There are times, however, when some people come into the hospital looking for a fight. Some of these patients have criminal backgrounds, and they utter the word “suicide” so they aren’t hauled off to jail. There is nothing that can stop them from acting out, and nurses are forced to respond. If you ever see a nurse smiling while a patient is threatening to harm them, please stand back.

The best is yet to come.