Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Place for Everything Redux

Unlike my previous encounter with suicidal patients at triage, I had a sad experience last night.  Sitting at the desk around 3am, I watched a gentleman wander into the waiting room looking lost.  After I called out to ask if he needed to see a doctor, he stumbled over to the chair and sat down.  Appearing agitated, he told me without making eye contact that he felt like hurting himself.  I asked a nurse to come over and help me register the patient, but a moment later he stood up, started shaking his head, and stated that he did not want to be seen.  We tried unsuccessfully to convince him to stay, but the gentleman kept shaking his head and backing away.  Watching him walk back out to the street, I worried that this guy was truly in danger of hurting himself.  I'll probably never find out if he did.

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