It was 10pm on a Friday night, I was a first year resident on call for the weekend. I was sitting in the call room completing my notes when my pager went off for the 10th time that day. I looked at the number, darn, it was from the 4th floor… the psych unit. I dreadfully called the number back when a nurse picked up. She explained to me there was a patient on the psych unit that was complaining of foot pain. I proceeded to take down the patient’s information, finished typing the last details on my previous note, gathered my things and left the call room to see the new consult.
The psych unit consists of 2 entry doors, each requiring a badge for entry. In order to enter the 2nd door, the initial door has to be completely closed. I entered the psych ward and found my patient. I proceeded with my evaluation of the patient. I left my patient’s room and as I began to walk towards the exit, I noticed a male patient, 6’5 heavy build, almost as if he was a linebacker for a professional football team. He was walking behind me and particularly close. I began walking faster and noticed his pace began to pick up as well. My heart began to race but I tried to calm myself considering this was a hospital with nurses and security guards surrounding me. As I started walking quicker to the exit door, I see him at a standstill at the nurses station, so I quickly pushed open the exit door. Next thing I know in a blink of an eye the door I just opened, slammed against the wall in a loud bang, the door swung open missing me by an inch.
I began walking faster and noticed his pace began to pick up as well.
My heart sank! I see this guy and felt as though he was beginning to rush me as if he’s rushing for a tackle. His facial expression and demeanor had changed. His eyes were wide open, pupils were dilated. I could see his veins were engorged on his temple. He seemed angry and I felt a sudden feeling of panic. His eyes were fixed on my badge. His speech was rapid and pressured and he was yelling “LET ME OUT!” Next thing I know on the overhead, I hear “Code purple 4th floor, code purple 4th floor.” His arms were stretched out, for sure I thought he was going to grab me! Just in the nick of time, security comes sprinting through the door and tackled him, successfully restraining him. My heart rate still elevated, a sigh of relief came over me. I thought to myself, this may have been the scariest moment of my life.
My heart sank! I see this guy and felt as though he was beginning to rush me as if he’s rushing for a tackle.
Story by Dr. H.
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