Knives · Pre Planning Your Scene

Why do ER staff frisk patients? This is why!

TINS©. Once I had left Da City’s EMS, I was an Emergency Department nurse in , surprisingly, Da City. Now, this was in the depths of the then current round of the nursing shortage, and so (a) they put me in charge (BIG mistake!), and (b) we had rent a nurses working with us. You might imagine, folks who have spent their careers working in the hospital may not be entirely as cynical as I am, and so might have a different level of urgency regarding, say, frisking a patient, than I do. Remember that thought.

So, one soul, a frequent flyer at our department, was brought in by the local fire department. This municipality was entirely within the border of Da City, but had stand alone police and fire services. These firefighters also provided EMS for the community. This particular wintry evening, they brought us an intoxicated fellow, who wanted to misbehave. Prior to my arrival, the evening staff had placed this gentleman in a vest type restraint, and settled him into a corner with a couple of blankets, and an admonition to take a nap.

So, once things had pretty much cleared out, I figured that a walk through, and placing eyes on my charges might be useful, and so I set out.

As I cleared the curtains surrounding our friend (mistake number one), I noted that he was fiddling with his vest. Closer inspection revealed that he had secured a knife (frisk fail, mistake number two!), and appeared to be attempting to cut his way free, presumably thereafter to make his escape. Acting prior to thinking this all the way thorough (mistake number three!), I grasped the hand with the knife, and extended his arm over the top of the bed, bending it, and securing it, and the knife within, with both hands.

That gave him the opportunity to consider the advantages he might enjoy, by popping me in my face with his off hand. Having considered, he tried to act, and so there we were, me holding onto the knife hand with both of mine, bobbing and weaving to avoid punches directed, drunkenly, my way by our guest, and calling for assistance.

One of the agency nurses walked over to see what the fuss was about. She stood there, motionless, for a long moment, until I suggested, “Ya know, if you could get some security in here, right stat like, that would be wonderful!”

I shit you not: she pivoted in place, and bellowed, “Security Stat To The ER!”

Sheesh! I amended my suggestion. “That was very nice. Now, if you were to open that door over there, and go out in the hallway, where our friends from security actually are, and tried it all over again, it might be just a little more helpful!”

She did earn bonus points for “Listening to and following directions”. Shortly, our friends from security piled into the room, relieved Mr. GottaGo of his knife, replaced his restraint, and frisked him, thoroughly this time. I frisked him, myself, because, well, reasons. I found no surprises. This time.

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