While on my building tour last week with the Life Safety Surveyor, we visited the Behavioral Health floor.
Our little group had been having a great time thus far, and of course the hilarity was maintained throughout the entire tour.
That isn’t to say that lessons weren’t learned, however.
We stopped at the nourishment kitchen in the BH area and of course, out of all of the flexible plastic forks we had in the bin, the first one our surveyor pulled and took out of its wrapper broke in two. He held it up and before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “Ohhhh, SHANK!” Our surveyor turned and looked at my boss and asked him if he really KNEW who was working for him, ha ha. I hastily explained that I watch a LOT of “Lockup” on MSNBC on the weekends. He checked half a dozen other plastic eating utensils and all bent, none broke. *whew*
After learning about the importance of the quality of linens on a floor such as this, and how doors should be cut at a slope at their tops, we proceeded to the consultation room. Our surveyor asked me to take a seat at the clinician’s desk, he sat in the patient chair, and the rest of our group sat behind us.
Because we’d been cutting up most of the afternoon, anyway, I looked at B, our surveyor, poised my pen over my steno pad and asked, “So tell me….How long have you been feeling this way?” B slipped right into role playing mode and replied with something a little faux hostile. I stated that I’d have his meds called in and that they would be waiting for him in the pharmacy. At this point he stated he didn’t need medication, that he didn’t have a problem until I told him he had a problem, which told him that as long as I’m around he has a problem. I blurted out that he sounded a lot like my husband. And that is when he kind of increased his size, somehow, and asked me what would I do next.
That’s when I saw it. The door was past him. My only means of egress was blocked by a little crazy man. The window behind me would be no help, as we were several floors up. He invited me to leave and I politely declined, running my hands under the desk to see if there was a panic alarm hiding, which I could have “mock” pushed. There was none. Then he asked if I wanted to use the phone to call for help. Of course, the phone was between the two of us, and I said, “Ummm, no…I think you have that shank, and even if you don’t you might grab my wrist.”
Needless to say, while it was all in good fun, a very valuable lesson was learned. While I am not a clinician, I do have people visit my own office and I realized that whomever came in would be between the door and me. Fortunately, most of MY employees are even tempered, but there are a couple that I wonder about, should things not go their way.
On the bright side? I keep extra hard plastic utensils in my desk, and they WILL snap, so at least I’ll have a shank if I need it, right?
How stable are the people you deal with on the daily? Are you aware of your surroundings? Do you have an escape route, just in case? Potential weapon at your disposal? Just some things to think about.
Until Next Time…