Sunday, August 31, 2008

trip trap

the last few nights, i have been in holds with the girl who betrayed my trust earlier. she is probably the least fun to be in holds with. all of her playfulness and rage are purely behavioral. she is smart. and bad smart. she picks up ideas from her peers and tries them out on us to see how we react. during a hold last night, i had to tuck my arm under her legs and put all of my weight on her thighs so she couldn't kick or get out of the hold. my whole right arm lost all feeling after ten minutes and the hold went on for about a half an hour. she called me an asshole, but then told me that she liked my socks in the same sentence. one of my co-workers stood at the door to the safe room to write down the things she said and the specific times things were done. he is of asian descent. she asked him if he had anything better to do, like working on a computer or fucking up the olympics. we finally were able to lock her in the safe room.

afterwards, i went to say goodbye to one of my favorite clients. he is leaving before i see him again and he was very sad about it. he said he would come back to visit sometime. he was funny. he tried to booby trap me once. he poured the soap from his bubbles on the floor near the entrance to his room. i didn't see it, but when i stepped in it, my foot slid slightly. he thought it was hilarious and told me that he trapped me. a few minutes later, he came running out of his room and slipped on his own trap. he caught himself, but it was a bigger slip than mine was. i win. he was on sharps restriction for a few times he was here. that means that he always has to have his door propped open so staff can see him. he told me that we did it because we were peepers. he said i was a peeping tom and asked me what my name was. i told him it was barry. he called me a peeping barry for a while until he learned my name. we made a cat out of fuse beads. her name was jujubee.

on an unrelated note, i realized that i am a prime candidate for being an alcoholic. i need to watch out for that.

i love my big cup

i think i saw this jug on cool island. i forgot the island's name. either way, this jug is important to you if you like giant flavored soda drinks. look how disproportionate it all is. it is a smart creation because if you take one of these on a road trip, you'll need a few bathroom breaks at gas stations that have cool islands. i saw this cup and thought about how this is something that would be great for a time capsule. just imagine someone a thousand years from now stumbling upon this testament of our culture. this pearl of our society. it isn't even efficient. you have no where to put it ever, and it is bigger than your head. i think it is funny to imagine someone driving while trying to drink out of this monstrosity. even more so if said driver is trying to slam down some mountain dew while driving a stick shift. or a motorcycle!
it just has so many levels of outrageousness. this is quite the bladder buster. i'm sure you could fit an actual bladder in there should you need an extreme transplant on the go.

Friday, August 29, 2008

trial and error

i messed up big time. i have been doing really well lately, but i f'd up yesterday. i was hesitant to take one of the clients to shave her legs last night but i did. we have to watch them shave their legs in the bathtub while they have shorts on. i didn't know this and didn't feel comfortable watching a teenage girl in the bathtub, so i sat outside the door and talked to her the whole time. i found out today that she took one of the parts of the razor and cut herself with it today. as far as i know, she's ok. this is what i get for giving someone a little bit of trust. i used to feel bad when new kids had the realization that none of their staff trust them. i don't anymore.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

an actual conversation

...when the breakfast cart came, wolfgang asked the client which cereal he wanted and then gave him a tray of food. he only took the juice at first, saying that he would just eat later. wolfgang asked [client] when he usually likes to eat, and he replied “i only eat chocolate muffins.” wolfgang said “no, i mean what time do you usually eat?” [client] replied “i already told you chocolate.” wolfgang rephrased the question, saying “what time of the day do you usually like to eat breakfast?” [client] then turned to staff and stated with a straight face “banana.” then turned around to face the tv and watch his favorite cartoon show...

first the worst

hi. this is my worst blog post ever. i have never written one and i think there will be a natural progression, so the first has to be the worst. a few friends of mine have told me that i should write down what happens at my work. here's how it works.

cliff's notes!

- i work at a not-for-profit residential treatment center. it is a temporary home/lock down facility for kids the ages of 5-17. these kids generally have problems. these problems could be: neurological disorders, suicidal/homicidal intent, neglect, abuse, and there's more. the average stay for our inhabitants is two weeks. some way less, some way more. i have worked there for six months now and have many stories, but i think i will actually start contributing next month.

- sometimes at my work, protective holds are necessary. this happens when a client is unsafe to themselves or others. we are very careful and try our hardest to avoid implementing holds. sometimes to the point where staff is in danger, but a hold still isn't done. they are not fun. i just wanted you to know that. i sometimes think that we should be less lenient, we go to great lengths to not implement holds. we do not use devices or chemicals for holds. we are trained to be able to physically hold someone in the least invasive way, for the least amount of time possible to avoid any pain to the clients. as a last resort, we have safe rooms wherein a client is moved to in a hold. in some situations, the client is locked in this safe room as long as it takes them to be safe, but we are legally allowed a certain amount of time for each client and try to limit that as well. a safe room is an empty room with a drain.

- what has wings but can't fly? my building! there are four wings. ne, nw, se, sw. each one of these units has a safe room right outside of the entrance to the specified unit. a fully carpeted hallway connects all four of them. we have two offices. one that connects the north wings and one that connects the souths. they have thick plastic windows and can slide open when the kids want to make phone calls. we also have a small staff lounge, a kitchen, a playground, and a little gym. every door to everything is magnetically locked and automatically locks when closed. a red light on the key panel means locked, green means unlocked.

- we have staff and nurses available 24/7 for the kids. the general rule is one staff to three kids. each unit has six rooms, two bathrooms, and a living area with a tv. each room holds one person, so we can have a maximum of 24 kids.

- we are very restrictive on what things kids can have. we make airport security look like arby's security. nothing sharp is allowed on the unit. do you know how many things could be deadly? i doubt it. the real answer is a lot. here's one i bet you can't guess. a library book. paperback. with the staples removed. here's another one. an eraser. you have to think outside the box and assume that some kids would do anything possible to hurt themselves or others.

- our main goal is to assess and stabilize our clients. we distribute medication and have psychiatrists and therapists to reduce the kids' medications. they try to find a balance that helps and minimizes the amount of chemicals each individual needs in their system.

- due to hipaa, i cannot and will not use real names. i told my co-workers to pick names for themselves. i have also decided that each month i will have a theme, and pick names according to said themes for the kids. maybe i'll take suggestions if you are lucky.

- lastly, all of my co-workers so far are amazing people. this is a very demanding job, and we are a cohesive bunch with hard earned experience in the field. i consider them to be an extended family and group of friends. this job forces a kind of closeness out of you.

so i have probably left a lot out, but that is a short summary that may help you understand how things are done and how our decisions are made. this post is pretty serious. i didn't mean to be. it's hard to be funny when you are trying to convey professionalism. i will try to make my future posts funnier, but some will probably be sad. well, i'll talk to you later!