A resident’s psychotic episode

Angie (pseudonym) had been here a couple of weeks. Some staff noted that she had been here before. She propelled her wheelchair in the hallways and seemed to be making friends. 

Last Wednesday Angie was having a bad day. She did not want to go to the dining room to get her breakfast or be content with a health shake. She wanted breakfast in her room and she and her nurse had words about it. 

Afterward, her nurse revoked her "after breakfast" smoking privileges. Still angry, Angie refused lunch and a health shake. Coming up the hall after lunch, I noticed her call light was on. Looking in her room I was concerned because I could not see her head at the top of the bed. 

While the aides were putting residents to bed, I sat outside Angie's room where she could not see me listening.  I heard noises of things being thrown. When I heard glass break, I got an aide to check on her.

She found Angie with cords wrapped around her neck. She was also trying to get glass from the broken light fixture. An aide shouted and the two nurses and two available aides came to Angie's room. Angie was yelling and they were trying to calm her.

Angie kept yelling and aides began to move dangerous items out of her room. Angie became unglued. The assistant director of nursing and social services director arrived. With the situation escalating, they decided to send Angie out. Within a few minutes she was gone.

When things quieted down, the aides looked exhausted. When I asked them to assist me to the bathroom, they thanked me for helping with Angie and for waiting until the crisis was over before requesting assistance. 

Topics: Clinical