A facility not far from the facility I currently work at suffered a tragic loss yesterday. Apparently one patient murdered another patient. My question is "where was staff"? Where I work or as I say spend most of my waking hours has staff that monitors the patient 24/7. It is imperative to do so in a place where 9 out of 10 patients are co-occurring. We have a locked psych unit, but when a patient is stabilized they can cross over to us in CD which is an unlocked facility. As a matter of fact, one of my duties is to interview potential CD patients who want to transfer to our unit to make sure they are appropriate. Appropriate can be a very general term.
Upon hearing the news that occurred at Belmont, I got chills up and down my spine, because it was only a few days ago I had a patient turn a meltdown into violence. I almost got it with a jug of water used for the water coolers. All I can say is "Thank the Lord, I had just finished the Handle with care class" which teaches us how to defend ourselves without the person getting hurt. By the time we got the patient secluded in one area we had no choice but to subdue the patient because the patient began to throw chairs and tables. The anger was directed at our psychiatrist but also at me since I am her counselor.
Needless to say, she is in a locked unit to be stabilized. It took about eleven males to get her transferred to the other building. By 9am, I was ready to go home. Of course, I ended up working nine more hours. We are helpers. We have a challenging job that saves lives, so when I read about something so tragic as Belmont, it makes me stop and pause that that could be any of us. I pray for Belmont tonight and all those impacted by this horror.