Thursday, March 14, 2013

Some may cry "cowardice". I say Active Listening.

Baby Huey, late 20s, 6'6", and 290 pounds of him, was brought in by the local constabulary some number of hours earlier for "probable ingestion of PCP".
Which was very likely an excellent surmise, given that he wasn't brought to us by some members of the local PD, but by the entire shift in the division, some 23 officers, supervisors, a K-9, 2 sheriff's deputies, and quite possibly a tow strap attached to a black-and-white SUV.

It took an additional half dozen of our officers to adequately restrain him, and a not inconsiderable amount of Rx medication IM to sedate him back under the threshhold of combativeness, while maintaining his ability to breathe independently.

Consequently, when our never-without-a-smile 90 pound triage nurse was asked, in the wee small hours of the shift, by a calm and pleasant Baby Huey if he could please go home now, because he was feeling much better, she hesitated not one second in granting her assent, and pointing him towards the exit.

He thanked her, and then she watched him carefully, and with steady gait, calmy walk out past the line of patients extending across the lobby awaiting triage, and turn towards the ambulance ramp on his quest to return home.

Whereupon she calmly picked up the phone, and asked Security if they might, pretty please, take the trouble to retrieve Baby Huey - "yes, that's right officer, that guy from earlier tonight" from the ambulance ramp, "You can't miss him", and return him to our observation room where he had been resting until shortly before his request for self-discharge was granted.

And in moments, a veritable Keystone Kops clowncarnucopia of security officers, at least 6, went thundering down the hall and out the ambulance ramp. There was a loud thumpBANG, and then they rather calmly wheeled Baby Huey horizontally back past the same triage nurse's station, still strapped to the 200+ pound steel gurney to which he was also attached spread-eagle by four point leather restraints and waistbelt, just as he had been minutes earlier when he calmly walked up to her desk and asked permission to leave, standing and walking out on his own two feet, arms spread wide, and gurney projecting rearwards like his own Magic Backpack.

And as he passed by upon his return, he was very earnest, but polite, in explaining to the officers that the nurse had told him it was okay to go. But he understood why the hospital wanted to make sure he was all better before sending him home, and that we weren't sure about that status quite yet.

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