My career was nuts.
The patient is a twenty-two year old, intoxicated, emotional, possibly suicidal male. He’s six feet tall, weighs 250. He’s been drinking and fighting for two days. His clothes are torn, he smells like a cow and is soaked with sweat. His eyes are going in different directions. His mother states he is dangerous, she is afraid for her safety. Four or five police cruisers are on scene, the patient is slouched on some stairs, crying. Rescue 1 arrives on scene.
All set? Just who is crazy here? Rather than transport a potential murderer to the emergency room for a psychological evaluation in the back of a police car, with a cage between the driver and patient, locked and secure doors and hard to break glass and padded seats, let’s put him in a box with plenty of room to roam, glass and needles everywhere, sharp, hard things that could cause serious bodily injury if one were to be thrown or fall on if a wrestling match happens and a Rescue Lieutenant whose fighting years are long behind him, unarmed, untrained at restraining violent patients and hope he gets to the hospital.
All set? Are you crazy? The police tell me it’s their protocol to call EMS for transport of psych patients.
Well, it’s my protocol to tell you, no way. Usually. This time, for reasons I have no way of explaining, because I have no idea why I went along I put him in the truck. The hospital was only two minutes away. I put him on the bench seat and fastened the seat belt. I should have known better. I should have put him on the stretcher, had a police officer come alonng and handcuff him to it. I didn’t.
Brian drove, checking the rear view mirror all the way. Half way there the monster stopped crying and started mumbling unintelligibly. Then he figured out the seat belt was the only thing between him and me, his captor. He undid the buckle. Then he stood. Then, he fell. Right on top of me. I pushed him to the floor, he fought a little and started thrashing around at my feet. Then, he vomited, all over my shoes.
I should know better. Guess I’m the crazy one after all. Never again.
Yup, I’m all set.