What's up with this practice?

Specialties Emergency


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7 Posts

My usual shift is Baylor Friday and Saturday nights , they call me the drunk nurse-I'm sad to say they come thru the door yelling my name and most know that I will let them sleep all night- if we are not getting slammed. My favorite is Harry- he shows up every other weekend by ambulance , found beaten up and in a ditch. He knows that he can sleep but the rule goes that at 6am I am going to get him up ,get his coffee and he will hit the road before day shift rolls in. My dayshift replacements laugh at the homeless people wandering down the road with coffee in hand when they are driving in.We have a small hospital - see 35,000 pts a year, but with no detox center and the homeless shelters usually full and dont take drunks(imagine that) I have to do something ,unless they really piss me off - then they can go to the lovely assistance program the city jail has setup.


97 Posts

It seems as though every state has them...here, the police PC them, bring them to us, and if the BAC is over .3 even detox won't take them. Since I work day shift we can usually give them a banana bag and shuffle them out pretty soon, either to detox or jail. And yes MollyJ, ever since that little incident with one of the drunks, the police are much less likely to take them to jail than they are to bring them to us...The only thing we have more of than drunks...are drug seekers...They are the backbone of my job security...:D

Uptoherern, RN

337 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Room.

here's a good question.....if the hospital has a tresspass/restraining order against a frequent flyer drunk....and that drunk comes to the er and signs in, is it an emtala violation to not see him in the er? do we just call the police and have him hauled off? just wondering!

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Howdy yall

from deep in the heat of texas




333 Posts

Specializes in correctional, psych, ICU, CCU, ER.

Well, as the jail nurse, I can refuse to keep any inmate that is "flat". We are trying to get evenybody to realize that ETOH is not a crime, it is a disease. And the biggest liability to the jail are flat drunks who aspirate and die. 95% of incustody deaths are alcohol related, which translates into BIG $$$ for the city. If they can't walk, they don't stay, I don't care WHO they are, (local transient or public figure)

We have also found that BA doesn't mean too much in SOME of our regulars. I had one with a BA <.4 who was walking and talking rationally. a>

I don't have the facilities to keep and monitor them, the supplies to treat them.

But I like the idea of a treatment facility, where they could be house, treated, sobered up, showered and released.

Maybe we could pool our resources and open one. Ya know, like a short stay, day surgery center?? High pay for nurses, the reimbursement could be amazing, nobody wants them, but the liability would be high.

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