An intoxicated gentleman who was assaulted by two dudes and knocked unconscious was brought to the ER for evaluation. He was confused, agitated, and irrational, he couldn't stand up well, and he certainly couldn't walk a straight line. Yet he was coherent enough to tell us that he wasn't going to lie down for that f-ing CT scan and he was going to walk the f*** out the door.
Umm, no sir, you aren't.
Unfortunately we had no security on duty in that particular suburban ER, and we were staffed with only diminutive female nurses. I didn't really want to sedate the gentleman given his possible concussion, and physically taking him down was likely to be an unpleasant, complicated, and potentially dangerous situation. So I asked one of the nurses to call 911.
Since there usually isn't much action in that little town, I expected a solitary policeman to show up sleepily munching a donut, probably after my patient had already escaped. Instead, almost instantly, 5 squad cars pulled up in the parking lot and ten steely officers filed into the hallway, each packing a taser, baton, and semi-automatic pistol. Even if we'd reported a shooting I doubt that we'd have gotten that sort of response. It was an intimidating scene. As it turned out, they were having a training session and didn't have anything better to do that night.
After they showed up, the patient was very cooperative and didn't even seem intoxicated anymore. He was so meek and polite I was sort of embarrassed that I'd called the police at all. There was no physical contact required.
As a bonus, none of the patients in the waiting room who saw them arrive gave us any trouble either.
Labels: ER, nightshifts, patients, police