An ED visit while hyper-vigilance is active; ED pace not comparable with internal locus of control.


Have you been through something like this?

I did my best to tell the staff in an ED visit that I needed to go slow due to anxiety; “engaging one person at a time and/or doing one thing at a time.”

Unlike other staff members, the main nurse ignored my boundary, taking my blood pressure when I told her not to take it; assault number one. After taking the blood pressure cuff off-while it was in progress, she threatened me; assault number two.

I never thought an ED would be the source of assaults, let alone add to the load of 3 assaults that I’ve already endured in last six months on the city bus system.

The recent bus assaults turned my interpretation of my experience into to being strapped down-by the blood pressure cuff and being gagged-by the thermometer in my mouth, liken unto being held prisoner by my parents and not free to leave. The nurse’s dominance added to the remembrance of torture.

After leaving a comment card, both the supervisor and manager called me. In years past, I wouldn’t have been able to speak of my boundaries, recognize assaults, stand up for myself by expecting respectful treatment-defined on my terms instead of the hospitals terms (aka “This is how we do it here.”). Too boot, I was able to advocate for myself before I went into the ED, two weeks later.

This forum was pivotal in my growth and living with PTSD.


I never thought an ED would be the source of assaults, let alone add to the load of 3 assaults that I’ve already endured in last six months on the city bus system.
Oh... the ED will punch you in the face, hit you with a tray, and knock your legs out from under you... before jabbing you with some Vitamin H (haldol) all without blinking. And also not speaking metaphorically. One has to physically restrain & immobilize people in pain, and EDPs all the dang time. Happens 2, maybe 3 times a night in busy EDs ... more if you’re unlucky, less if it’s “quiet” (that’s a cursed word, never even think it, much less say it) different ways. People in pain? Really can’t be held responsible for their actions. Nor can people out of their damn minds in other ways. Both patients, and family members in sudden and profound grief, panic, fight/flight. At various levels of sobriety. Because emergencies don’t just happen when people are sober and well rested. But at any time.

Been on both sides of the table on this one, as I was a HUC in a busy ED, but picked up a reputation quite quickly as a “crazy whisperer” who could de-escalate violent patients (& occasionally families, but the social worker was better than I was with people not trying to kill anyone in their field of vision); but also get a broken nose or be being choked out at the beginning of my shift and still grinning and being patient and kind with people by the end.

It’s absolutely fantastic that they rang you back... shows that the hospital you went to is working really hard at different levels of approaches for different classes of patients. They might not be THERE yet, but it speaks to the willingness to spend hours coaxing someone into a blood pressure cuff, whilst the next bed over having 3 people physically restraining someone to get them into a cuff. That’s some seriously advanced level standards they’re aspiring to. Even if they’re not there. Yet.