Huh… What do I with that?

I had a rude awakening during a call today (my first call after being cleared to run lead in fact). We got dispatched out to a psych call. Basically to do a medical clearance so she could be committed. PD was already on scene when we got there, so we jsut took some vitals and did a quick once over. Problem… According to PD we had to wait for the case worker to show up with the paperwork we needed to transport against the patient’s will.

This call, just sitting there and trying to keep a patient who is very agitated calm, showed me that I have a lot to learn when it comes to dealing with psych patients. If she had been a medical patient I would have felt very comfortable treating her, same to a lesser degree for trauma. But since there was nothing physically wrong with her, I was at a loss on waht to do.

Guess it goes to show that you are never done learning.

  • Justin Schorr

    I am curious as to why you were called but had to wait for the paperwork. If they are being taken to a medical facility, an RN will have to clear them anyways when they arrive, even at a psych facility.
    Otherwise, instead of waiting you could try verbal techniques to get the patient to go willingly, hence no longer needing a case worker.
    I have been lucky to live in a state (NM) that allowed EMS providers to take over care decisions for patients as well as my current system that allows a 72 hour hold that any beat officer can initiate (5150).
    Sounds like you got used as the big red taxi. Was the patrol car broken? Perhaps Motorcop could chime in here.

  • transportjockey

    I was rather confused myself. I assumed that PD wanted us to look them over before they took the patient to the ED. That’s what I was used to in NM and in Denver. But the cops here are apparently allowed to, but very gun shy about doing that unless the patient makes statements that they want to harm themselves or others. And this one didn’t do that until we got her in the bus and started to the hospital, which BTW was only about .5 miles away. I could have walked her there faster than waiting for paperwork.

    I would have taken her against her will if she had made the slightest comment about hurting herself as well, since at that point I could say she was not in her right mind and therefore could not make a transport decision herself.

    I tried to talk to the patient, but wound up having to kick out family since every time it seemed like I made a little progress, the family members would pipe up and the patient would just close down again.

    I’m thinking part of it is I just need a few more calls like this. I have very little experience with psych calls that are like this.

  • Josh

    Yea, I woulda kicked family out real quick, as in if there’s nothing important, they don’t get in back. I’m also a lot more comfy with psych pt’s since the service I run with has the local contract for interfacilty transfers.
    The only thing I didn’t see youy directly mention was why did the cops want them to go to a psych facilty? Were they threating someone, drunk, or just gorked out of there mind? And in which case does that make them AOx4?

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