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Randolph Smith: Arrest of ER nurse is no-win situation

To the editor:

Being a nurse and former ER psychiatric patient in the past, I can speak from both perspectives about the arrest of Steven Coughlin for allegedly assaulting a patient at Cooley Dickinson Hospitalin August (“CDH nurse repudiates assault rap,” Nov. 23).

It’s a no-win situation. The ER nurse is placed in horrible situation, most times without proper help.

Do I believe the patient got injured? Yes.

Do I believe the nurse did everything he could to control the situation and to try to protect the patient from harm to himself and others? Yes.

As an RN with 10 years of experience working in an ER, and as an out-of-control ER patient in the past, I have seen both sides.

Shame on Cooley Dickinson Hospital for throwing a dedicated nurse under the bus.

Randolph Smith



Fired CDH nurse Steven Coughlin disputes charge he assaulted patient

Thursday, November 21, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — When Steven Coughlin decided to become a nurse, he said he found a job that combines his love of science and his desire to help people. Now, the 27-year-old Florence resident is fighting to avoid jail, clear his name and get back into the field he loves after being accused of assaulting a patient and being fired from …

Legacy Comments1

Got your back... But apparently not in the best interpretation. I know nurses personally who have to deal with patient behaviors that should require police or psychiatrists to handle - but most nurses are left to fend for themselves, the patient and anyone else in the area - while trying to deal with an understaffed situation in caring for assignments. Nurses do not get paid enough for what they are trained to do and certainly deserve support from an employer when situations like this arise. The integrity of those who testified against this nurse is questionable from what we have learned publicly and since your employer turned on one - you might do well to watch your back now too.

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