Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Bad Day

Last week we had a very interesting incident at the hospital at least it started on campus and ended up in the middle of traffic. Let me start from the beginning, my partner and I received a call from the emergency room. A patient under emergency petition had run out of the emergency room and out into the parking lot. We had no description of the patient so I went into the ER to talk to the patient’s nurse; my partner went to our jeep I thought to get it ready. Now my partner for the day has been working in the hospital for 7 months, but this is the first week we have worked together. My other 2 partners had always known what to do in an elopement so what my partner did next confused me.

As I was heading outside towards the jeep I gave my partner the description over the radio. The second I step outside he started his pursuit of the patient alone. I started walking throughout the parking lot and when I was not able to locate the patient I called for my partner’s location. When he did not respond I became very worried and then the next thing I hear over the radio was my partner screaming, “Help, Help, I am being assaulted”!! I started running through out the parking lot and could not find him, and he would not answer the radio. I ran around the parking lot for 5-10 minutes with only hearing the occasional screaming on the radio.

Finally he called back asking me where I was, I told him that his location was more important. He told me he had rolled out into the median of major highway. It was 5pm and rush hour was on and I started running across the freeway trying my best not to get run over. When I got to my partner an off duty deputy was standing by as my partner pinned the psych patient down. My partner’s face was bleeding and he had a cut on his lip. The patient started kicking so I jumped on the legs and we lay on top until police assistance could arrive.

When the state police and sheriff deputy arrived the started to put handcuffs on the patient and of course the patient started fighting. The deputy told the patient that he will break her
wrists if she fought and the patient said they will break his face. The patient was cuffed and loaded back into an ambulance, I got on the ambulance to watch the patient.

When we arrived back into the ER the staff was more worried about the patient and completely ignored my bleeding partner. Finally my partner started yelling, “I just got my ass whooped and no one is helping me.” The ER doc told him to take a seat and they will get to him. Our employee health doctor was passing by and told my partner, “Oh just wipe the blood off and you will be fine,” no tetanus shots or anything.

It turned out that the patient had no psych problems, but was on high on PCP. I tried to explain to my partner that we never go after people alone for this reason. He told me I should have been there, but at no time did he ever give me his location and when he finally did I was there in a second. Even though it was at the end of the incident I was still there.

Our sw
itchboard operators received 75 phone calls from people driving home from work. The calls reports ranged from dead bodies on the side of the road to a security officer beating a patient on the road. The 911 operators said they received several calls stating that a security officer was beating someone up and the security officer is dead in the median. The situation never got that far and never should have, but it did and I hope he learns from this.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Certified Instructor

This week my hospital sent me to Baltimore to become a Crisis Prevention and Intervention instructor. The course was for 4 days in a decent hotel in the middle of a ghetto. I used map quest to get directions which turned out to be a bad idea, I almost ended up in New York. Now nothing against New York, it is just my hospital spent a lot of money for me to be there and I think they will become slightly peeved if I didn’t show. When I finally arrived I walked into a very familiar setting. The hotel security was arguing with the front desk about whose’ job was what.

After the hotel manager and security director broke up the argument I got my room key and went back to my vehicle to get my bags. The reason I didn’t bring them in the first place because I wasn’t sure if map quest gave me the right hotel. So as I dodge drunks asking for money I got to my room, locked the door, and hid my valuables in my safe.

The next day it was time to head down for free chow which was great and then over to the conference room for registration. While we started introducing ourselves the conference next door was roaring throughout the area. There was a diversity conference going on and all the speakers were comedians. The only thing that separated us and them was a thin patrician covered in carpet. This went on for 3 of the 4 days and my ears hurt from listening to our instructors scream.

Now I do not know if any of you have taken CPI most in hospitals have, but there is a part in the training where you have to get physical. They not only teach different holds, but ways to escort adults and kids. Well after that the people there just for basic certifications took their tests and left. Now it was time for us not only learn how to teach the moves, we had to know how to do it in real time. Well I have been doing security for a while and in the past taken the CPI course, but for everyone else in the instructor course this will be there first time. They paired me up with 2 six foot 8 three hundred pound guys. They threw my butt around for 2 days and at the end my back and ankles hurt like hell. I was bounced off walls, tossed to the ground, and stepped on a few times. One of the instructors was this tiny little nimble thing and when people said, “That doesn’t work” she would show them. She smacked a couple guys in their happy zone and dropped the big guys who thought they were invincible.

The last day we had to teach a portion in front of everyone. I speak in front of people all the time and deal with high stress situations daily, but I was still nervous. Not only did we have to teach we had to take a long test. When it came time for me to teach I shocked everyone. I am younger than 23 years old and was the youngest in my class so for me to know me stuff shocked and impressed the class and the instructors. I passed the teaching portion and all that was left was this test.

When it came time to take it all the information came rushing back into my head. The test was extremely easy and after that I got my instructor pin, teaching binder, and a first class kit.I look forward to teaching my first class when I get back. I have my own style and I hope I don’t bore the class to death. After I teach my first class I will surely write about and post it for all to read.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Can’t take it anymore, Good Bye

When I arrived at work the other day I received some interesting news. When I entered the room my supervisor had asked me if I knew a certain psych patient. The patient he was asking me about did not seem to belong on a psych ward. Granted the patient did mention that he was having suicidal thoughts, but had shown no signs of a mental illness. Well anyways the patient did his mandatory 72 hours and was discharged in the morning. My supervisor informed me that the patient set up his appointments for our day treatment program then went home and ate the gun.

The patient came on a Friday night and missed the doctor. So he sat around, talked with myself, the RN, and the other patients. When he checked in he said he had suicidal thoughts because his mother was sick and he had problems with his sister. What confused me with his death was that he made plans for the future (day treatment), he was changing jobs (he had money, just worked for fun), and had a huge support system (very large family and several friends).

When I went up to our psych ward, myself and two other RNs’ who worked with the patient discussed possible reasons. I think when he arrived home something triggered the suicidal thoughts i.e. dying mother, fighting with sister. The RNs’ think he did it because he received no real treatment. Because he came in on a Friday and the doctor doesn’t come in until Monday, he pretty much sat around watching television and sitting in group. The patient pretty much went through our psych assembly system.
The patient was a good man and everyone spoke very highly of him. I am not talking about a guy who was a jerk and in death he became nostalgic. He was genuinely a good person who was very social and a positive thinker. I believe sometime on the weekend he made peace with suicide and that was why he was so nice to everyone. It’s too bad the patient did not get the chance to receive the treatment he needed.

I did not have time to feel bad though, I received a call to get to our ER registration. A fight was about to break out over ugly shoes. Stupid people keep me busy enough so I do not have to deal with death in the hospital. I guess when I get old and retire I feel for these people then. For now though I have become comfortably numb.
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Sunday, May 6, 2007

If you’re Crazy and you know It II

My partner and I were standing outside assisting with a medical evac by helicopter. The patient needed angioplasty so the security department secures the landing pad keeping bystanders away from the chopper and escort in and out of the hospital. So as we finish and the bird flies off my partner and I step into the emergency room. As we enter we here the emergency director yelling for someone to call security. We run down to the room and before I opened the curtain a smell hit me like a punch to the nose and I knew then this was going to be bad.

There was a 30 year old heavy set female half naked lying in the bed yelling p
rofanities like the girl from the exorcist, actually she kind of looked like her only fat and older. The director and nurse were trying to use soft restraints (thanks JCAHO) on this very strong woman, who needed hard leather restraints. Needless to say these two were not having too much success. So my partner grabbed an arm, the ER director grabbed an arm, the one nurse started tying her up, and I grabbed these two mammoth ham hocks. I then discovered what the smell was; she had been on her period and had not changed anything down there. So as the RN finishes the last tie down I go and help the director put back on the oxygen mask. The patient kept using her tongue to push the mask off her face, so we decided to tape her up. As I held the mask on the left arm came loose and guess what, she decided to grab a hold of, that’s right Mr. Happy. I pulled away in time, but as I did her nails got caught on my trousers and ripped her fake nails off. We re-tied these wimpy soft restraints back to the bed and went back to the office to fill out some paper work.

20 minutes later we were called back to the emergency room. When we arrived she had slid herself to the b
ottom of the bed. I snatched our clinical coordinator as he walked by because at this point I needed someone to pay. The doctor decided on a posey vest, but the problem was we needed to untie her hands, put the vest on, zip up the vest, and tie everything back to the bed. So we got into position, this time I took an arm and made my partner take a leg. We un-tied her arms and she started kicking and yelling. This time though her aunt and mother had stepped into the room. We tried to be careful at all times not to hurt patients, but when family is looking over your shoulder you try to play nice. The aunt picked up on this and said, “I am going to take a walk, you guys do what you have to.” So I put my arm against her face pushing her fat cheeks between her teeth so she would stop biting and we got her tied back down.

When we were done I looked over to my partner and he was pale as a ghost. He held his breath as long as he could and when it was time to breath he took a big whiff and he was sick. We escorted the staff with the patient tied to the bed up to one of the wards. The whole time the patient was calling use racial slurs and pointing out our physical abnormality i.e. I am fat, my partner is tall, but with profanity mixed in. My partner stepped out for some fresh air and I went back to reports.

The next day I went on my usual patrol and when I passed the room I met with her aunt. The aunt stated that she does remember anything at all. She just woke up extremely sore in all places. They thanked us and apologized which was not necessary. To do this job you need to have thick skin. We all realize when people come in a hospital they are not themselves. They don’t want to be there and may even be terrified. So we take the insults and just do our job and sometimes people realize we are there to help.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Handcuff Training

There was uproar in the security department ever since the knife incident which you can read on my blog (Fake Florence Nightingale + Fake Gangster = Disaster). The concern expressed by everyone was that we had no way of protecting ourselves or even ways of detaining someone. We pretty much walk around with a radio, gloves, and a bar code swipe (so they can track where we have been). We have been running around with an empty duty belt. So the department decided to give us training so we can get our certificates so we can carry handcuffs and pepper spray.

We first started with handcuff training; our old supervisor was the instructor. We watched a training film from the 80’s and read through a book. The old supervisor then showed us how to handcuff som
eone with hinged handcuffs. My personal favorite is the chained handcuffs, easier to put on someone. After the demonstration it was our turn to practice on each other. Everyone picked a partner and a style of handcuff they wanted the department to order for them. Everyone picked up the hinged handcuffs because that is what the instructor used; also they are more expensive of the two so the other officers want the department to pay for those ones. I picked the chained because that is what I have used for years.

So my partner started on me first and the first cuff went on with no problem. He then slaps the second one on me and after a second I loose feeling in my left hand. After it turned purple he took it off and it went back to its normal color. So now it was my turn to practice on him. Now I remind you there are two different types of cuffs we are using so there are two different ways of putting on the cuffs and everyone is using one style and I am using the chained style. So when I started to put on the cuff my instructor says I am doing it wrong and to do it the way he showed me, so I did. I put on the first cuff, no problem. It is when I applied the second I realized the cuff was not going to reach his other hand, so I pulled. He let out a scream and a few curse words and I said well quit fighting me and there will be no pain. He said he was not fighting me and that I was twisting his wrist. So the instructor came over and said I was doing everything right until he noticed I had a different type of cuff.

I went back
to applying the cuff the way I normally do and everything worked out. We all got our certificates and now will be able to detain people legally. I can’t wait until we start our pepper spray training. Our director will be the instructor and part of the training requires us to get sprayed in the face. I am sure I will have a fun story for you when that happens.

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