1st time posting on mobile so please forgive for typos and Grammar.
This was a few years ago but it is still very satisfying thinking about it.
Back story: I was a 24 year old guy working as a Mental Health Technician at a county hospital in Arizona.
I was specifically trained and certified to work with teens, youth, adults and elderly who were a danger to themselves or others.
This included those that were brought in by the police for being violent and needed 1 on 1 supervision 24 hours a day. It’s generally VERY boring and easy, because the patient is sedated and strapped to the bed.
This story is about one of these guys.
A patient had been brought into the ER by the police for whatever reason and had been extremely dangerous and violent with the police and hospital staff. I had been requested to go to their wing of the hospital (We normally only work in the mental health ward) and monitor and restrain if needed for the hospital staff. I was stilling in the corner of his room on my phone probably playing games when a nurse came in to check on him.
The conversation went something like this:
Nurse: I’m going to need you to do something more than sitting there in the corner on your phone.
Me: Excuse me?
Nurse: I need you to clean him and empty his urine bag.
Me: Nope… I’m not trained to do that.
Nurse: Listen, I don’t have time to deal with this, you’re going to do this or I’m going to get the doctor.
Me: Do you see CNA (Certified Nurses Aid) on my badge anywhere? It says MHT (Mental Health Tech) I am not certified to do a CNAs job. If I did clean him and change his urine bag but did something wrong it would be your job and not mine. Go ahead you can get the doctor and ask him yourself.
Nurse: You have no right to tell me what your JOB is, I will have your job for this!
She storms out of the room and looks for the Doctor. After a few minutes I can hear her voice just outside the room. I go just to the doorway (I’m still able to see my patient) to hear her and see the doctor.
Nurse to the Doctor: He (pointing at me) is telling me that he won’t do what I asked him just because he isn’t a CNA.
Me to the Doctor: She is telling me I have to clean him and change his urine bag, but I have told her that it would be her job if I did something wrong.
Doctor to Nurse: He’s right, he has no responsibility nor is he certified to do it. He is supposed to sit with him and watch him, to keep you safe. Do your job and stop trying to find someone to do your job.
It turns out there was no CNA for her area that night. She was trying to push her work off on other people, and I was her last attempt until the Doctor lost his patience.
Edit and to Just clarify some things:
1. This again is at a County hospital that is no longer open in southern Arizona. This hospital had 4 Pysch wards, Adult short term (non-violent), Adult Short term (known for violence), Adult long term (non-violent), and Geriatric (non-violent and violent). This being a county hospital the patients were those that had no insurance, or homeless, etc…
2. I know that the nurse (charge nurse perhaps) could not have gotten me fired. When you work for the county, your job was pretty safe unless you really screwed up.
3. I’m not sure why she went to the patients’ doctor, I suspect it was because she KNEW she was wrong but was hoping the doctor would side with her and try to embarrass me.
4. I had been warned prior to doing this 12 hour shift that I am not allowed to do things outside my training and certification. That sometimes other departments have tried to get an MHT to do what a CNA would do.
I think this comes from an issue we had on the geriatric ward. They would often have to call a CNA from other wards to come up and take care of a patient. Thus some nurses probably became upset (rightly so), and would try to get back at us by trying to push us around.
I understand that this may sound completely absurd, yet it happened to me. It was a really screwed up hospital, and it’s probably one of the reasons it was shut down.