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The Fellow Who Would Not Go

A long, long time ago, in a Blue Hive not so very far from here (In truth, not nearly distant enough!), I was a nursing supervisor. This one time, TINS©, TIWFDASL©, and I received a phone call from one of my nursing floor charge nurses.

It developed that one of our physicians had written discharge orders for this one gentleman, let us refer to him as “Mr. Man”. Mr. Man was apparently of the opinion that our physician was mistaken, and that he, Mr. Man, was not sufficiently recovered to return to his home. I responded, spoke to the nurse, and then spoke to Mr. Man. He pretty much recreated the report that I had heard from the nurse, culminating in his ultimatum: “I’m not going anywhere, and you cannot make me!”

I phoned the physician and relayed my conversation. This doctor asked me a few questions, corroborating his assessment of the patient’s clinical circumstance. Having done so, he reiterated his plan of care: “Mr. Man does not meet the criteria from the insurance company, who is paying for his hospital stay, and they are not going to continue paying for his stay. He is discharged, I have written prescriptions, and arranged a post discharge office visit. If he has issues, we can discuss them at that visit.”

I relayed this to Mr. Man, and he again indicated his determination to remain. I returned to the nursing station, and invited my friend the security supervisor to show his smiling face, so that we could confer. My friend the security supervisor had no new input, although he sent a couple of officers to stand by the floor, in case Mr. Man decided that some interpretative dance, so to speak, would make his case more effectively.

Shortly, the med nurse was passing by, surprisingly enough, passing her afternoon meds. I stopped her. “Do you have any meds for Mr. Man?” She consulted he med book. “Yep, he has (whatever) due at 2 o’clock!”

“Hand it to me. I’ll take this one over from you.” I placed the meds securely in the med room, and returned to my chat with security. Sure enough, as I had expected, Mr. Man put on his call light, shortly after he noticed the med nurse pass by without stopping. I answered his light (security dawdled just down the hallway).

“Yes, Mr. Man, what can I do for you?”

“I am supposed to get (whatever) around this time. I just saw the nurse pass me by.”

“Why, yes you did, sir. You see, since the doctor has discharged you, you are no longer a patient here, you are now a visitor. It is not our practice to administer medications to visitors, and so the med nurse did not have any medications for you.”

“How am I supposed to get my meds?”

“Discharged patients usually obtain their medications from a pharmacy.”

“I bet you think you’re smart! You cannot make me leave! I’m staying right here!”

“Yes, sir, I understand what you are saying. Is there anything else?”

“No. Go away!”

With a smile, I departed. A couple of hours later, supper time arrived. I removed Mr. Man’s tray, and sent it back to dietary, with the admonition that he had received orders for discharge, a therefore would not require meal service. Indeed, shortly he noticed the aides passing supper trays, and, again, he engaged the call light. Again, I responded.

“Mr. Man, what can I do for you?”

“You could serve me my supper tray!”

“Oh, sir, I’m sorry! We do not feed visitors. You have been discharged, and therefore are present here as a visitor.”

“How am I supposed to get something to eat?”

“A lot of people find that a grocery store is helpful in this regard. Other folks find restaurants to be more to their liking.”

Again, I was dismissed.

In our facility at that time, visiting ended at 2000 hours. Our switchboard operator announced this fact, and bade all visitors a good evening. I popped my head into Mr. Man’s room, and reinforced this message. Security, this time in the person of the security supervisor, accompanied me.

“Sir, you will have to leave soon.”

“I dare you to throw me out!”

Security responded. “Sir, our usual practice is to ask folks to leave. Those who do not depart, are trespassing, and we ask Da City Police Department to handle that. I imagine the responding officers will ID such a person, run a LEIN check, and either walk that person out, or, if somebody were to have outstanding warrants, arrest that person, and lodge them in jail”

Mr. Man again indicated that our audience with him had come to a conclusion.

Outside the room, we heard one sided conversations as of telephone calls, and, from what we could discern, seeking transportation. Again, shortly, we were summoned by the call light. Mr. Security and I responded, and I (again) asked, “Mr. Man, what can I do for you?”

“I don’t have my prescriptions, and my ride will be here in a couple of minutes.”

“Yes, sir, I’ll get right on that!”

I secured his prescriptions and discharge instructions, and Mr. Security and I returned to the room, where I delivered the instructions and prescription, and then the security supervisor and I wheeled Mr. Man to the door, where he sprang from the wheelchair, entered a vehicle, and exited our lives. Whew!

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