Well its been another 12 months and I’m still in the same job, working security in the psychiatric ward of the largest hospital in my part of the world. My original thread went over quite well and a lot of things have changed since then so I thought id write up an update. Here’s a quick recap:
I work all over the hospital campus but spend the bulk of my time in the secure wing of our psychiatric wards, my teammates and I will do everything from escorting visitors around to removing drunks from the site. On a standard shift there will be eight guards working. More if we have an interesting patient or potential security issue.
We work 12 hours shifts 0600 – 1800 for two days then 1800 – to 0600 (with a break in the middle). We have no drat equipment… if trouble happens we put on rubber gloves and dog pile the drunk/drug fiend/injured person we need to sedate, this is an ongoing source of tension as injuries are not common but can be nasty, last month one guard was assaulted six times in 24 hours due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In the secure wards we have various levels of “service users” from people being transitioned into living in the community to the ones who will be off to prison if they are ever released from the wards (which never happens) We even have several former patients as staff In the wards.
Chupe raho aurat.. this is dull, tell us about stuff you have seen/people you have come into contact with!
If you insist!
We have a patient who is COMPLETELY sure he is a member of our national sports team. Utterly convinced. He is so sure that if you were not familiar with the team/sport you would more likely than not believe him. Apart from his belief he seems perfectly normal and harmless but id say he’s not or he wouldn’t be secured as he is.
In my previous thread I mentioned a patient I called “Happy Larry” who was approx 19 and a giant ball of enthusiasm and joy. Larry is mentally disadvantaged but not to the point of needing to be institutionalised.. except.. one day Larry decided it would be a good idea to have sex with his 11 year old sister. At the time of my first thread I explained that he was simply unable to understand what he had done wrong and was quite keen to “have another go”. Happily since then he has had a break through and very rapidly made progress to the point he is living unmonitored in the city.
We have a large man “Tony” who is being treated for a multitude of sex offences, despite the fact he has been he for years there has been no forward motion at all, he is still locked down 21 hours a day, and accompanied by two staff when he goes outside. I have witnessed make a aggressive attempt to get at a female visitor despite the fact the room he was in was filled with visitors and staff. He’s never getting out.
What is the worst part of your job?
Suicide. We have a lot of very tall buildings and it’s uncomfortably common for both patients and members of the public to make them the “final destination”. It may sound strange but it’s the mental patients that are least at risk that do the jumping, they are committed voluntarily and can come and go at will so there’s very little to stop them if they decide to top themselves. Naturally the ones that we suspect are going to do it and never left alone to get the chance.
So are you always in the ward?
No, I spend some time in the emergency department; lots of nasty things happen there, stabbings, drunks, people with foul injuries and panicking relatives. Part of my job is also to regularly patrol the wards and outer buildings to provide a presence.
So if you have ever been interested in finding out exactly how a man can get a shovel planted in his head or what drink drivers are really like after they get mangled ask away! (Or chime in if you work on the same line)
|# ? Mar 7, 2013 12:46|
|# ? May 25, 2013 03:32|
I missed the last thread, but two questions immediately pop into my head:
How big are you ? I get the image from the movies of some 6'4 300lb guy with a name tag that says "Tiny". You mentioned you had to have a presence and you get no equipment, I'm assuming you aren't a shrimp.
Have you ever messed with the patients ? I know that sounds bad, nothing serious. Like just having a bad day and decide to go "Hey, whats that monster over there ?!"
|# ? Mar 7, 2013 15:28|
Im not huge, im 85kg (187 pnd).
Each team has a mix of sizes, normally we have a big guy in case we need some brute strength, but they are not normally used unless a situation is allready out of control or we are responding to an emergency where a patient needs to be restrained. I learned very early on that it much easier to de-escalate a situation if you keep the brutes out of sight unless they are needed. A big guy will stir stuff up just by being there.
No one messes with the patients, we have a really good working relationship with the staff on the ward, we get invited to xmas dinners and if there is an occasion of some type theres normally a plate of something tossed our way. No one want to make their job harder. The closest we get to messing with them is the pain in the rear end security members that charge in like a bull at a gate and make a problem where there wasn't one.
|# ? Mar 7, 2013 15:40|