Elopement........ahhh help

  1. I had a resident, well escape on me tonight. I got a phone call from the local PD stating they found resident and were transferring to the local hospital. I had seen this resident about 45 minutes prior to phone call ambulating in the hallway. This happened at the end of dinner, as I was setting up all my tube feeders. We were working one nurse short tonight so I had about 15 extra residents to take care of, down two halls. After investigating I believe a non-staff member turned off the door alarm (resident had a wander device on) because no one heard the alarm go off. I was just wondering if anyone has had this happen?? What happens when state comes in?? I have been beating myself up all night....I know I didn't do anything wrong, but I feel I should have done something more. The resident only got a scratch from the evenings adventure..thank God!! I just feel so inadequate at the moment, could I have done something?? What do I do now??
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   banditrn
    I'm so sorry this happened to you - I don't have any real answers - just chart what happened, and what you think happened. Why would a non-staff member have access to turning off the alarms? That would be a big issue in my mind - access to those things needs to be VERY limited, and your administration needs to be involved in this!

    Is there a system in place for checking that all alarms are on and functional at certain times daily?
  4. by   Sari_LPN
    The alarm system is functioning, don't really think we check it a certain times. We have a resident who hangs out by the door so when she's sitting there everytime it's opened the alarm goes off. To turn off the alarm it's a number code that goes into a punch pad....not to hard to remember if you watch it done a couple times.
  5. by   BabyRN2Be
    I'm glad that your pt is safe.

    My husband's gma is in an Alzheimer's Care Center. They have one door that the residents trying to make a break tend to congregate. When someone comes in, the residents try to sneak out the door. However, they would only get so far and then they'd have to confront another set of double doors. If it wasn't Alzheimer's related it would be a little funny to watch.

    Why did non-staff feel it right to turn off the alarm? Maybe your unit either needs this to be in a restricted area, or if it can't be moved, signs need to be placed around saying that it's for the safety of the residents.
  6. by   CoffeeRTC
    Yikes...I hear you on the non staff members turning off alarms. Some of our doors are set up with number pads and the back door has a button to press when it is opened and an alarm goes off. Everyone knows..you just press the button. (Well..the door before that has a wander alarm punch number on it) Still thing like this happen,when you have family/ visitors who think that they are just helping out someone who needs a door opened for them.

    Maybe changing the codes more often or weekly would help cut down on visitors opening doors that they shouldn't?
  7. by   jetscreamer101
    long time ago had a gas/conveinience station call for a ride home for this guy. He'd eloped and went to the store for a candy bar. No one knew he was missing. H'd had to cross a major highway without lights/crosswalks.
    Wasn't on management end so don't know what happened, but I don't think I read it in the paper or anything like that.
  8. by   lovingtheunloved
    Don't you just love locked units? I got a new admit one time. Admissions lady brought him in the unit, he looked at me, high tailed it out the doors to the locked courtyard and just shimmied right over the fence. I think he was on the unit a total of 30 seconds. Evidently he was not appropriate for our facility.
  9. by   Sari_LPN
    Well today was my first day back to work since this happened. I can actually say I love my management... My DON came up to me, patted me on the back and said heard you had a bad night fri.....kinda joking with me. When I stated how horrible I felt, how inadequate. She smiled and said "It was not your fault, we do believe a nonstaff member let her out." State has been notified, don't know what the outcome will be. But knowing that management is standing by me, not ready to blame it all on me, makes me feel much better.
  10. by   daisey_may
    Quote from lovingtheunloved
    Don't you just love locked units? I got a new admit one time. Admissions lady brought him in the unit, he looked at me, high tailed it out the doors to the locked courtyard and just shimmied right over the fence. I think he was on the unit a total of 30 seconds. Evidently he was not appropriate for our facility.

    Somehow picturing this in my head had me laughing so hard! :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle

    Although, it makes me sad, too. You're right, obviously he wasn't right for your facility...
    Last edit by daisey_may on Nov 21, '06 : Reason: added a thought
  11. by   Simplepleasures
    Oh you certainly do have good management!!
  12. by   banditrn
    Quote from Sari_LPN
    Well today was my first day back to work since this happened. I can actually say I love my management... My DON came up to me, patted me on the back and said heard you had a bad night fri.....kinda joking with me. When I stated how horrible I felt, how inadequate. She smiled and said "It was not your fault, we do believe a nonstaff member let her out." State has been notified, don't know what the outcome will be. But knowing that management is standing by me, not ready to blame it all on me, makes me feel much better.
    Sari - yes, you gotta love management like that!!:chuckle They've probably "been there, done that." I'm glad they're backing you up!

    Elopement was one of those funny words I learned when I started in LTC!! I STILL picture a couple of oldsters sneaking out to get married! Why don't they call it 'breaking out' or something?
  13. by   lovingtheunloved
    Quote from daisey_may
    Somehow picturing this in my head had me laughing so hard! :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle

    Although, it makes me sad, too. You're right, obviously he wasn't right for your facility...
    Even as it happened, it was funny. My charge nurse was FREAKING OUT. I'm like, uh, call the cops! Kinda sad too, the city police cornered him at a gas station down the street and he was holding several officers at bay with one of those squeegies you clean your windshield with...
  14. by   P_RN
    Where Mama is (the alzheimer's unit) has the keypad thingy. As long as she's been there the code has been the same. I have trouble hitting the keys and getting to the push bar quick enough with my cane. One of the residents "Sam" said to me once the code is * * * * # and then entered the code and held the door for me. Now Sam has alzheimer's too, but he remembers just enough. Their escape sound is "reveille" and it's LOUD! http://usmilitary.about.com/library/...s/reveille.ram
    Funny thing, Mama wandered when she lived alone, when she lived with me, but is happy to stay put where she lives now.
    Last edit by P_RN on Nov 21, '06

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