Monday, January 22, 2007

Psych Patients

The last several weeks we have had some interesting psychiatric patients who have tried to commit suicide. Sometimes when a psychiatric patient stops taking their medication that people of all ages try to end all their troubles. Security is often called to stand by in case a patient tries to injure themselves or sometimes commit suicide. This week I received a call on my radio to come to the emergency department's registration area stat. It seems in our hospital that it is very important to give security as little information as possible. So when we arrive in scene we never know what we are walking into. When I arrive on this call I find a large women in her middle 30's trying to pull her skin off and eating paint chips off the wall. Standing around her were her social workers who take care of her at her half way house. The social workers are standing there allowing this women to hurt herself. I ran into the room and grabbed both her hands and said, "What are you trying to do to yourself"? She said, "I want to die and God has asked me to kill myself to be with him". The whole time she is talking the social workers are recording the incident and are almost encouraging the behavior by saying, " they are going to strap you to a bed and lock you up for forever". The first thing I did was get those damn people out of there.

My partners went into the ER to secure a room for the women while I pinned down the women's arms. The women's arms long lacerations and were very bloody. Once into one of the psychiatric rooms the women seemed to calm down until the social workers re-appeared. The women had smacked and pushed both officers while they escorted her into the room. She started to urinate and then splashed the urine on me as I walked back into the room. I am now covered in urine and blood and extremely pissed off at the social workers. Finally we are able to get rid of the social workers and give the patient medication, and yes we did have to put the patient into four point restraints (both legs and arms tied to the bed using hard restraints).

The patient had tried several times to kill herself and that's why she had been sent to a half way house where she could be monitored around the clock. She had spent several days in our psychiatric ward and had a couple escape attempts and a few suicide attempts. All times security was able to diffuse or stop the attempts and the psychiatric staff had her medication finally balanced. The women left after a few days back to the half way house. I give it a few more weeks before she is back again.


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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey that was really crazy what you guys have to go thru... but in the medical field like you and i r in we just dont know what to expect next.... but im really proud of you for liking what you do... cuz not a lot of people would do what your doing and we can always need people like you in a Medical Medical facility

Mother Jones RN said...

Would you like to submit a story to Change of Shift? Check out my blog for details.

MJ

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