Friday, September 29, 2006
Elopement and a Cuppa JoePerry, a Mental Health Specialist (the folks who do a ton of the patient care work around the hospital) comes to me Monday morning as I'm finishing up a discharge and asks if I've seen Curt, one of our new patients. Perry was doing rounds and saw Curt on 15" checks at 10:45, but now it was about 11:05 and he couldn't find him anywhere.
I call "Staff!" to alert the other MHS's that I'd like to have some help, and I get a reasonably good response. "Perry can't find Curt - can we all look?". Sometimes staffers doing rounds can't find a person because they're in the shower or sleeping in another patient's bed by accident or maybe just hiding in a corner somewhere. We spread out and do a thorough sweep. No Curt.
Somehow Psych Doc ends up at the end of the hallway and pushes one of the fire exit doors and no alarm sounds - the door pushes open just like *that*. Staff can use the doors by keying them open, but we're not supposed to because sometimes patients can go out if you're not watching carefully. The doors work a certain way to remain safe yet patients can't escape through them easily unless someone leaves one open.
I jogged down the stairs wondering if I'd catch a glimpse of Curt but no luck. Outside there is a reasonably high fence in a courtyard that will not open without a key. I found a piece of wood leaned up against the fence where he must have climbed over.
I came back inside and called the police. They usually locate patients who get out in a matter of minutes - some more easily than others. Curt was wearing a hospital gown, a yellow wristband, and was sans pants.
He was down the street at a coffee stand having a "free" coffee as the owner of the stand called us. From what I understand, the espresso stand owner motioned him over (believing him to be one of ours) and said "Hey buddy, free coffee today - under new management!!", sat the patient down in a patio chair on the deck, gave him a cup of coffee, and called us.
We've got some great neighbors.
Oh, and we checked the video and one of the utility guys had gone out the door. Looks like Curt caught the door and kept it from closing all the way, and then snuck out after the utility guy had gone around the corner.
(All names in this completely fictional story have been changed. In fact, it never happened. That's the ticket.) :)
Posted by HypnoKitten at 7:51 PM