Monday, September 24, 2012

The Absentee Guardian Angel

Often a patient will need one-on-one supervision.  Someone always needs to be within arm's reach of the patient because the patient is at risk of harming herself, others, or is at risk of falling or choking.  Although taken lightly by the staff, this is a serious situation: if harm befalls the patient while being watched, this could be interpreted as a lack of proper care.  At least I take it seriously.  I try to implore the staff to stay with the patient, comparing their role to that of a guardian angel.  I'm not convincing enough.  So many times I've found the patient alone.  When I advised the staff that the patient must be next to them always, the answer is usually along the lines of, "He's fine!  Nothing's going to happen.  Stop harassing me!"  But if work has to be done, "I'm on one-to-one" is the excuse given for not assisting.

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