Regarding the May 7 news article “Rex Hospital risked losing funds after patient stunned”: As a former director of nursing at a state psychiatric hospital, I contend that the North Carolina mental health system, not Rex Hospital, should be placed on “Immediate Jeopardy.”
Because of the decrease in state psychiatric beds and the failure of the state to create an adequate community mental health structure, severely ill psychiatric patients are languishing in emergency departments of medical hospitals without treatment.
From the news article, it appears that Rex was placed in an untenable position. I applaud the employees for keeping everyone (staff, patients and patient #5) alive for 2 1/2 weeks!
With the “corrections” in place, Rex was compelled to place itself in an even more vulnerable position with violent mentally ill patients. Tasers are no longer allowed, but an armed police presence is being considered. Armed officers (without a Taser option) may resort to actually shooting a violent patient in order to save the lives of other patients/family members.
A true “corrective action” would be to reopen enough acute psychiatric beds in North Carolina to humanely and effectively treat our mentally ill.