Did I get stressed out about this incident. Yes. Did I go a little overboard, I will admit yes, my stress was probably a bit on the paranoia but like I have said the incident just occured Monday and I can't tell you guys the full details of the incident at all.
Its normal to be a wee bit weirded out by an incident, especially while on probation, where a "client" gets harmed during a U of F scenario. Its also good to, as Toonces said, "reflect" on your actions as no U of F goes down the same as they do during training and there is always ways to do things better, more efficiently, more effectively, etc. I remember my probation....eek, nerve racking. You're new to the agency and don't know how complaints would be handled and as you're under a microscope for a year (that was my probation), you're always wondering "Oh man, will this get me turfed?".
As others have said, as long as you can articulate your actions and you did your job in good faith, do up the necessary U of F and incident reports and maybe give your union rep a quick email giving the details of the situation, etc. Don't lie on reports to gloss over the injury, state it as it happened, plain and simple. Injuries, to us and our "clients", happen.....as long as you weren't stomping on the person's hand while they were handcuffed, prone and now compliant, well, I don't think you did anything wrong. Sometimes people get hurt....as long as you get them medical help and do everything properly (do up reports and such) all you can do is wait.
Its scary...not because you're afraid to do your job or because you felt you did wrong, but because you don't know if you're management remembers what its like, is supportive, etc. and will back you.
Dave Jenkins wrote:Jim Street wrote: If I had my way, which I never will, we would go back to the "Insane Asylums" of old, where people who were needing psych treatment would be locked up and treated. There'd be a bunch of big burly orderlies who would take control of the violent whack jobs and there would be none of this wishy washy panty-waist treatment of "clients". (That term would also be banned.) Oh, to dream.
Oh shit....first DW and now me......
I would agree that in reality doing away with that structure did more to create more issues than it solved. Using security to handle patients is a seriously flawded system on its own. They should bring back trained orderlies that are physically capable of handling these people.
Over the years I saw a number of MHA incidents where the patient had to be physically subdued for the safety of everyone including them. People tend to get hurt in those situations and there is very little if anything that can be done to avoid it.
.....true story....listening to an HPS radio transmission - unit XYZ to unit ABC.....go.... didn't you just say you handed over Joe Baronutts to the HPH* staff? - yes, I did! - well guess who is walking east bound on Fennell as we speak?.........
And folks wonder why shit happens when dealing with these patients.
*HPH Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital - now a division of St Joseph's Hospital.
I currently work in a hospital that is a mental health in-take hospital. We don't have in-patient at our site, but we do at another site. In my 2 1/2 years i can't count the number of times that I have been in physical altercations with "clients", some of which have been some pretty hairy situations. Have "clients" been injured, yes. Have I been injured, yes. This is just the reality.
MentalhealthPO; something I have learned while working with mentally ill people is that there is no rational behavior when it comes to them. Nothing they do ever makes sense, and you can never predict their actions. They are some of the most violent and dangerous people out there, as they have no limits. They rarely feel pain, and nothing you can say will calm them down. That being said I am speaking more of the serious psychiatric conditions. I also learned very quickly that in most situations you can't always treat them as sick people. I was injured early on (about a month in) because I didn't want to hurt the patient even though he was injuring me, I felt bad for him because I knew he was sick and what he was doing wasn't necessarily his fault. After that I don't take any chances and when it comes to physical altercations you have to deal with them the same as everyone else. It sucks sometimes but when it comes to your safety and the safety of others you have to use force.
But as you stated you were dealing with someone who was suicidal. Though this is still a mental health condition it is completely different from say schizophrenia. They aren't necessarily thinking straight, but they are of more sound mind than that of a schizophrenic patient.
Just be careful, realize that force has to be used, and when it is used people get hurt. Even patients. Your safety is the top priority, even if the person you are dealing with is sick.
That is to say, it doesn't matter if he's acting out because he's sick in the head or because he's just a complete asshole and wants to hurt you. Regardless of the cause, your response must be dictated by the nature of his behaviour. If he's dangerous to himself or to you, you must act decisively to control the situation; if that means using force, then that's what you do, as guided by legislation and policy. Don't be tricked into using too little force because the guy is "sick and it's not his fault." If he needs to be taken down, take him down. If you need to hurt him to do it, hurt him as much as is necessary to gain control and compliance.
If he needs to be taken down, take him down. If you need to hurt him to do it, hurt him as much as is necessary to gain control and compliance.
I'd like to add to it that do it right the first time...go easy and there is more chance of a prolonged struggle which means more opportunity for you or your "client" to get a boo boo. If you gotta use force, use it (well proper force...but you get what I mean).
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