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Candid Camera


A few years back, I was working for a small community mental health office in washington state. I had been asked to cover for another nurse who had gone home sick for the day. I was glad to do this. She had a few patients coming in for anti-psychotic injections so I gathered the appropriate charts and reviewed the medications and the dosages.

Specializes in Case management, UM, AL, psych, CD. Has 20 years experience.

Candid Camera

When one of the patients came in for his appointment I went downstairs to greet him and introduce myself. He smiled and hurriedly put out his "roll you're your own" cigarette by rubbing it aggressively on the pavement in the parking lot and placed the butt into the pocket of his pants.

Slightly disheveled, as many of our mental health patients could be, with a strong smell of body odor. His pants hung very low, and there was a large amount of material from his underwear hanging out of the top of his pants, and just a slight bit of plumber's bottom showing.

I brought him into my office, where we routinely gave our injections.

We talked for a moment about how things were going; I asked him about any side effects he may have been having from his medications and asked him about his job. He was thrilled to tell me how well he was doing at his new job, working at a bowling alley, mopping floors.

He beamed with enthusiasm as he told me how lucky he was to have such a rewarding profession. You could see how happy that job made him by smile it brought to his face. "Well he is quite a pleasant gentleman," I thought to myself, as I sat there listening to him talk about his job responsibilities, as though he were a CEO of a fortune 500 company. He waited patiently while I went to the medication room and prepared his medication injection.

When I came back to my office, I closed the door and grabbed the chart to double check my injection dosage. When I did this, a thick page fell open and in big bold letters, it read "do not see this patient alone".

I quickly turned the page, tried to act casual, checked the dose, and when I turned around, he was standing up, had removed his trousers, and was standing facing the wall, waiting for me to give his injection. I gave him his injection, placed a band aide and waited for him to get his trousers situated again so I could open my office door.

Once he was decent, I grabbed for the doorknob of my office door, and the entire doorknob came off in my hand! I stood there, sweating, thinking oh my goodness! And I turned around to the patient and said, "do you ever get the feeling you are on candid camera?" we both laughed.

I sat down and called the environmental services, and asked them to please come to my office and assist us with my door. The patient and I struck up our conversation, where we had left off, and everything ended up ok, but trust me! I never took another patient into my office alone without thoroughly checking the chart first again!

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